In this documentary short, two men paddle a canoe across a remote part of northern Lake Superior. Each stroke brings them closer to the culmination of an artistic and spiritual journey, one that begins with ancient rock paintings from their Anishinaabe ancestors.
This documentary follows Haida artist Bill Reid, from British Columbia. A jeweller and wood carver, he works on a traditional Haida totem pole. We watch the gradual transformation of a bare cedar trunk into a richly carved pole to stand on the shores of the town of Skidegate, in the Queen Charlotte Islands of B.C.
When Masset, a Haida village on Haida Gwaii (formerly known as the Queen Charlotte Islands), held a potlatch, it seemed as if the past grandeur of the people had returned. This is a colourful recreation of Indigenous life that faded more than two generations ago when the great totems were toppled by the missionaries and the costly potlatch was forbidden by law. The film shows how one village lived again the old glory, with singing, dancing, feasting, and the raising of a towering totem as a lasting reminder of what once was.
In this acclaimed 1994 documentary, Loretta Todd, a leading figure in Indigenous cinema in Canada, profiles four contemporary female artists—Doreen Jensen, Rena Point Bolton, Jane Ash Poitras and Joane Cardinal-Schubert—who seek to find a continuum from traditional to contemporary forms of expression. Each artist reveals her practice and journey in her own words. The film is a moving testimony to the vital role Indigenous women play in nurturing Indigenous cultures.
This short documentary showcases the work Paul Kane painted in the Canadian northwest in the mid-1800s. Travelling overland west to the Pacific in the mid-1800s, Kane immortalized the area’s great Indigenous Peoples, Chiefs, ceremonies, war parties, buffalo hunts, rapids and waterfalls. In this film, his canvases are projected with lighting that brings to life every glowing detail.
In this revealing study of Norval Morrisseau, filmed as he works among the lakes and woodlands of his ancestors, we see a remarkable Indigenous artist who emerged from a life of obscurity in the North American bush to become one of Canada's most renowned painters. Morrisseau the man is much like his paintings: vital and passionate, torn between his Ojibway heritage and the influences of the white man's world. Jack Pollock, the Toronto art gallery owner who discovered Morrisseau's paintings in the early 1960s, comments on what makes them so unique.
The film centres on Arthur Shilling, an Ojibwa artist from the Rama Reserve on Lake Couchiching, Ontario. Shilling's artistic evolution is traced, as is his move to Toronto and the difficulties he encountered there. Also discussed is the illness that caused Shilling to re-evaluate his artistic goals. Interviews with the artist and others interested in his paintings are juxtaposed with examples of paintings.
This feature-length documentary traces the journey of the Haisla people to reclaim the G'psgolox totem pole that went missing from their British Columbia village in 1929. The fate of the 19th century traditional mortuary pole remained unknown for over 60 years until it was discovered in a Stockholm museum where it is considered state property by the Swedish government.Director Gil Cardinal combines interviews, striking imagery and rare footage of master carvers to raise questions about ownership and the meaning of Indigenous objects held in museums.
In this follow-up to his 2003 film, Totem: the Return of the G'psgolox Pole, filmmaker Gil Cardinal documents the events of the final journey of the G'psgolox Pole as it returns home to Kitamaat and the Haisla people, from where it went missing in 1929.
This documentary short is an introduction to the Bella Bella (Heiltsuk) of Campbell Island, 500 km North of Vancouver on the Pacific Coast. Since the coming of settlers, these fishing people have watched their ancient Heiltsuk culture and their independence all but disappear. Today, in an energetic attempt to become self-sufficient, they are regaining both - successfully combining economic development with cultural revival.
We hear the Heiltsuk language spoken in the film (Haíɫzaqvḷa).
This short film from 1944 presents the totem pole to a general audience, explaining its significance and how it fits into Indigenous culture. It was filmed in British Columbia, where these monuments, witnesses to an ancient and powerful culture, watch over us.This film is over 70 years old and should be viewed with an understanding that it is an uncensored historical document of its time.
When internationally renowned Haida carver Robert Davidson was only 22 years old, he carved the first new totem pole on British Columbia’s Haida Gwaii in almost a century. On the 50th anniversary of the pole’s raising, Haida filmmaker Christopher Auchter steps easily through history to revisit that day in August 1969, when the entire village of Old Massett gathered to celebrate the event that would signal the rebirth of the Haida spirit.