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Indigenous Cinema in the Classroom (Ages 15-17)

19 films
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Geared towards high-school learners, this playlist from acclaimed filmmakers brings Indigenous cinema into the classroom in a highly accessible way. The films touch on the topics of missing and murdered Indigenous women, Indigenous pride, reconciliation, suicide, addiction, police violence, and more. Pour visionner cette sélection en français, cliquez ici. Films in This Playlist Include Finding Dawn My Name Is Kahentiiosta Second Stories – Deb-we-win Ge-ken-am-aan, Our Place in the Circle Second Stories – Honour Thy Father Second Stories – It Had to Be Done Vistas – Inukshop Incident at Restigouche My Village in Nunavik Inuuvunga, I Am Inuk, I Am …

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Indigenous Cinema in the Classroom (Ages 15-17)

Geared towards high-school learners, this playlist from acclaimed filmmakers brings Indigenous cinema into the classroom in a highly accessible way. The films touch on the topics of missing and murdered Indigenous women, Indigenous pride, reconciliation, suicide, addiction, police violence, and more.

Pour visionner cette sélection en français, cliquez ici.

Films in This Playlist Include
Finding Dawn
My Name Is Kahentiiosta
Second Stories – Deb-we-win Ge-ken-am-aan, Our Place in the Circle
Second Stories – Honour Thy Father
Second Stories – It Had to Be Done
Vistas – Inukshop
Incident at Restigouche
My Village in Nunavik
Inuuvunga, I Am Inuk, I Am Alive (Inuktitut Version)
Two Worlds Colliding
Six Miles Deep
Crazywater
CBQM
Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance
Stories Are in Our Bones
nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up
Jordan River Anderson: The Messenger
Hi-Ho, Mistahey!
Trick or Treaty?

Playlist

  • Finding Dawn
    Acclaimed Métis filmmaker Christine Welsh brings us a compelling documentary that puts a human face on a national tragedy – the epidemic of missing or murdered Indigenous women in Canada. The film takes a journey into the heart of Indigenous women's experience, from Vancouver's skid row, down the Highway of Tears in northern BC, and on to Saskatoon, where the murders and disappearances of these women remain unsolved.
  • My Name Is Kahentiiosta
    This short documentary by Alanis Obomsawin tells the story of Kahentiiosta, a young Kahnawake Mohawk woman arrested after the Oka Crisis' 78-day armed standoff in 1990. She was detained 4 days longer than the other women. Her crime? The prosecutor representing the Quebec government did not accept her Indigenous name.
  • Second Stories - Deb-we-win Ge-ken-am-aan, Our Place in the Circle
    Lorne Olson's short documentary presents a vision he had of two-spirited people dancing, laughing, and smiling. His vision spurs him to rediscover the strength of the past to better face the challenges of today. This funny and buoyant film documents his touching journey.

    Second Stories follows on the heels of the enormously successful First Stories project, which produced 3 separate collections of short films from Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. Second Stories builds on that success by continuing the training with 3 of the 12 Indigenous filmmakers who delivered such compelling short documentaries. Produced in association with CBC, APTN, SCN, SaskFilm and MANITOBA FILM & SOUND.
  • Second Stories - Honour Thy Father
    This short documentary takes a poignant look at cultural misunderstanding and its toll on a family's grief. When filmmaker Gerald Auger lost his father, the local Anglican priest refused to allow the family to bury their father in the traditional Cree way - with the drum and the smudge - because he was buried on Anglican church property. Gerald sets out to resolve his hurt and anger and his path leads him to some unexpected places.

    Second Stories follows on the heels of the enormously successful First Stories project, which produced 3 separate collections of short films from Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. Second Stories builds on that success by continuing the training with 3 of the 12 Indigenous filmmakers who delivered such compelling short documentaries. Produced in association with CBC, APTN, SCN, SaskFilm and MANITOBA FILM & SOUND.
  • Second Stories - It Had to Be Done
    This short documentary explores the legacy of residential schools through the eyes of two extraordinary women who not only lived it, but who, as adults, made the surprising decision to return to the school that had affected their lives so profoundly. This intimate and moving film affirms their strength and dignity in standing up and making a difference on their own terms.

    Second Stories follows on the heels of the enormously successful First Stories project, which produced 3 separate collections of short films from Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. Second Stories builds on that success by continuing the training with 3 of the 12 Indigenous filmmakers who delivered such compelling short documentaries. Produced in association with CBC, APTN, SCN, SaskFilm and MANITOBA FILM & SOUND.
  • InukShop
    In this short film, filmmaker Jobie Weetaluktuk mixes archival and new footage to make a statement about the appropriation of Inuit culture throughout history.
  • Incident at Restigouche
    On June 11 and 20, 1981, the Quebec Provincial Police (QPP) raided Restigouche Reserve, Quebec. At issue were the salmon-fishing rights of the Mi’kmaq. Because salmon has traditionally been a source of food and income for the Mi’kmaq, the Quebec government’s decision to restrict fishing aroused consternation and anger. Released in 1984, this groundbreaking and impassioned account of the police raids brought Alanis Obomsawin to international attention. The film features a remarkable on-camera exchange between Obomsawin herself and provincial Minister of Fisheries Lucien Lessard, the man who’d ordered the raid. Decades later, Jeff Barnaby, director of Rhymes for Young Ghouls, cited the film as an inspiration. “That documentary encapsulated the idea of films being a form of social protest for me... It started right there with that film.”
  • My Village in Nunavik
    Shot during 3 seasons, this documentary tenderly portrays village life in Puvirnituq, on the shores of Hudson Bay in northern Quebec, as well as the elements that forge the character of its people: their history, the great open spaces, and their unflagging humour.

    This film was produced as part of an emerging filmmaker competition for Indigenous filmmakers. It was directed by Bobby Kenuajuak of Puvirnituq, age 23.
  • Inuuvunga, I am Inuk, I am Alive (Inuktitut version)
    In this feature-length documentary, 8 Inuit teens with cameras offer a vibrant and contemporary view of life in Canada’s North. They also use their newly acquired film skills to confront a broad range of issues, from the widening communication gap between youth and their elders to the loss of their peers to suicide.
  • Two Worlds Colliding
    This documentary is an inquiry into what came to be known as Saskatoon's infamous "freezing deaths," and the schism between a fearful, mistrustful Indigenous community and a police force harbouring a harrowing secret.

    One frigid night in January 2000 Darrell Night, an Indigenous man was dumped by two police officers in -20° C temperatures in a barren field on the city outskirts. He survives the ordeal but is stunned to hear that the frozen body of another Indigenous man was discovered in the same area. Days later, another victim, also Native, is found. When Night comes forward with his story, he sets into motion a chain of events: a major RCMP investigation into several suspicious deaths, the conviction of the two constables who abandoned him and the reopening of an old case, leading to a judicial inquiry.
  • Six Miles Deep
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  • Crazywater
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  • CBQM
    CBQM
    Dennis Allen 2009 1 h 6 min
    This feature-length documentary pays tribute to CBQM, the radio station that operates out of Fort McPherson, a small town about 150 km north of the Arctic Circle in the Canadian Northwest Territories. Through storytelling and old-time country music, filmmaker and long-time listener Dennis Allen crafts a nuanced portrait of the "Moccasin Telegraph," the radio station that is a pillar of local identity and pride in this lively northern Teetl'it Gwich'in community of 800 souls.
  • Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance
    In July 1990, a dispute over a proposed golf course to be built on Kanien’kéhaka (Mohawk) lands in Oka, Quebec, set the stage for a historic confrontation that would grab international headlines and sear itself into the Canadian consciousness. Director Alanis Obomsawin—at times with a small crew, at times alone—spent 78 days behind Kanien’kéhaka lines filming the armed standoff between protestors, the Quebec police and the Canadian army. Released in 1993, this landmark documentary has been seen around the world, winning over a dozen international awards and making history at the Toronto International Film Festival, where it became the first documentary ever to win the Best Canadian Feature award. Jesse Wente, Director of Canada’s Indigenous Screen Office, has called it a “watershed film in the history of First Peoples cinema.”
  • Stories Are in Our Bones
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  • nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up
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  • Jordan River Anderson, The Messenger
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  • Hi-Ho Mistahey!
    In this feature-length documentary, Alanis Obomsawin tells the story of Shannen’s Dream, a national campaign to provide equitable access to education in safe and suitable schools for First Nations children. Strong participation in this initiative eventually brings Shannen's Dream all the way to the United Nations in Geneva.

  • Trick or Treaty?
    Covering a vast swath of northern Ontario, Treaty No. 9 reflects the often contradictory interpretations of treaties between First Nations and the Crown. To the Canadian government, this treaty represents a surrendering of Indigenous sovereignty, while the descendants of the Cree signatories contend its original purpose to share the land and its resources has been misunderstood and not upheld. Enlightening as it is entertaining, Trick or Treaty? succinctly and powerfully portrays one community’s attempts to enforce their treaty rights and protect their lands, while also revealing the complexities of contemporary treaty agreements. Trick or Treaty? made history as the first film by an Indigenous filmmaker to be part of the Masters section at TIFF when it screened there in 2014.