Indigenous Cinema in the Classroom (Ages 9-11)

Indigenous Cinema in the Classroom (Ages 9-11)

Geared towards younger learners, this playlist from acclaimed filmmakers brings Indigenous cinema into the classroom in a highly accessible way. The films touch on the topics of the influence of elders, realizing potential, sharing knowledge, discovering history, the power of nature, and more.

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Films in This Playlist Include
The Mountain of SGaana
Shaman
Stories from Our Land 1.5: Inngiruti – The Thing That Sings!
Waseteg
Maq and the Spirit of the Woods
Nunavut Animation Lab: Lumaajuuq
Nunavut Animation Lab: Qalupalik
Vistas: Dancers of the Grass
Vistas: Little Thunder
Stories from Our Land 1.5: Family Making Sleds
Stories from Our Land 1.5: If You Want to Get Married… You Have to Learn How to Build an Igoo
Stories from Our Land 1.5: Tide
Stories from Our Land 1.5: Nippaq

  • The Mountain of SGaana
    2017|10 min

    In The Mountain of SGaana, Haida filmmaker Christopher Auchter spins a magical tale of a young man who is stolen away to the spirit world, and the young woman who rescues him. The film brilliantly combines traditional animation with formal elements of Haida art, and is based on a story inspired by a old Haida fable.

  • Shaman
    2017|5 min

    This animated short tells the story of a ferocious polar bear turned to stone by an Inuk shaman. The tale is based on emerging filmmaker Echo Henoche's favourite legend, as told to her by her grandfather in her home community of Nain, Nunatsiavut, on Labrador's North Coast. Hand-drawn and painted by Henoche in a style all her own, Shaman is the first collaboration between the Labrador artist and the NFB.

  • Stories from Our Land 1.5: Inngiruti - The Thing that Sings!
    2012|5 min

    This short documentary filmed in Pangnirtung features 2 elders reminiscing about the dances held in their community 50 years ago. One of the elders is master accordion player Simeonie Keenainak, and soon he's making toe-tapping music with his instrument. In this celebration of the pleasures of music and dance, Keenainak plays for the enjoyment of friends, family, and the community at large.

    Stories from Our Land: 1.5 gave 6 Nunavut filmmakers the opportunity to each create a 5-minute short. Each film had to be made without the use of interviews or narration while telling a northern story from a northern perspective. The project was a collaboration between the NFB and the Nunavut Film Development Corporation.

  • Waseteg
    2010|6 min

    Waseteg is the story of a young Mi'kmaq girl whose name means “the light from the dawn.” Sadly, her mother dies while giving birth and, though her father works very hard to provide for his family, Waseteg is surrounded by the bitterness and loneliness felt by her sisters.

    As a young girl, Waseteg looks for solace in nature, and dreams of the stories she’s heard in the village – including one about Walqwan, the mysterious boy living across the river. Eventually, with the gentle care of the boy's grandmother, Waseteg succeeds in finding Walqwan, discovering the Spirit Path, and restoring love to her family.

    A short story about dreams, courage, identity, creation and embracing our Elders, Waseteg showcases Phyllis Grant's signature style of bold lines, bright colours and simple movements. The film is beautifully narrated by legendary filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin.

  • Maq and the Spirit of the Woods
    2006|8 min

    This animated short tells the story of Maq, a Mi'kmaq boy who realizes his potential with the help of inconspicuous mentors. When an elder in the community offers him a small piece of pipestone, Maq carves a little person out of it. Proud of his work, the boy wants to impress his grandfather and journeys through the woods to find him. Along the path Maq meets a curious traveller named Mi'gmwesu. Together they share stories, medicine, laughter, and song. Maq begins to care less about making a good impression and more about sharing the knowledge and spirit he's found through his creation. Part of the Talespinners collection, which uses vibrant animation to bring popular children's stories from a wide range of cultural communities to the screen.

  • Nunavut Animation Lab: Lumaajuuq

    This animated short by Alethea Arnaquq-Baril tells a tragic and twisted story about the dangers of revenge. A cruel mother mistreats her son, feeding him dog meat and forcing him to sleep in the cold. A loon, who tells the boy that his mother blinded him, helps the child regain his eyesight. Then the boy seeks revenge, releasing his mother's lifeline as she harpoons a whale and watching her drown. Based on a portion of the epic Inuit legend "The Blind Boy and the Loon."

  • Nunavut Animation Lab: Qalupalik
    2010|5 min

    This animated short tells the story of Qalupalik, a part-human sea monster that lives deep in the Arctic Ocean and preys on children who do not listen to their parents or elders. That is the fate of Angutii, a young boy who refuses to help out in his family's camp, opting instead to play by the shoreline. But one day, Qalupalik seizes him and drags him away. Angutii's father, a great hunter, must then embark on a lengthy kayak journey to try and bring his son home.

  • Vistas: Dancers of the Grass
    2009|2 min

    This short film presents a stunning display of a stop-motion animation as it vividly depicts the majesty of the hoop dance, a tradition symbolizing the unity of all nations.

    Vistas is a series of 13 short films on nationhood from 13 Indigenous filmmakers from Halifax to Vancouver. It was a collaborative project between the NFB and APTN to bring Indigenous perspectives and stories to an international audience.

  • Vistas: Little Thunder

    This animated short, inspired by the Mi'kmaq legend "The Stone Canoe" explores Indigenous humour. We follow Little Thunder as he reluctantly leaves his family and sets out on a cross-country canoe trip to become a man.

    Vistas is a series of 13 short films on nationhood from 13 Indigenous filmmakers from Halifax to Vancouver. It was a collaborative project between the NFB and APTN to bring Indigenous perspectives and stories to an international audience.

  • Stories from Our Land 1.5: Family Making Sleds
    2012|5 min

    This short film portrays a family working together to make sleds. While the father expertly threads rope through runners and slats, expertly tying knots to hold them together, his wife and child work on their own stylized sleds. The film pays homage to the craft, while also capturing the sheer joy of downhill sled racing.

    Stories from Our Land: 1.5 gave 6 Nunavut filmmakers the opportunity to each create a 5-minute short. Each film had to be made without the use of interviews or narration while telling a northern story from a northern perspective. The project was a collaboration between the NFB and the Nunavut Film Development Corporation.

  • Stories from Our Land 1.5: If You Want to Get Married... You Have to Learn How to Build an Igloo!
    2011|5 min

    In the spirit of the 1949 NFB classic How to Build an Igloo, this short film records Dean Ittuksarjuat as he constructs the traditional Inuit home. From the first cut of the snow knife, to the carving of the entrance after the last block of snow has been placed on the roof, this is an inside-and-out look at the entire fascinating process.

    Stories from Our Land: 1.5 gave 6 Nunavut filmmakers the opportunity to each create a 5-minute short. Each film had to be made without the use of interviews or narration while telling a northern story from a northern perspective. The project was a collaboration between the NFB and the Nunavut Film Development Corporation.

  • Stories from Our Land 1.5: Tide
    2012|4 min

    This beautiful short film captures the majesty of ice sculpted by wind and water. By using time-lapse imagery, Iqaluit filmmaker Ericka Chemko reveals the dynamic intertidal dance of water and ice in the Arctic.

    Stories from Our Land: 1.5 gave 6 Nunavut filmmakers the opportunity to each create a 5-minute short. Each film had to be made without the use of interviews or narration while telling a northern story from a northern perspective. The project was a collaboration between the NFB and the Nunavut Film Development Corporation.

  • Stories From Our Land 1.5: Nippaq
    2011|3 min

    In this short film, hunter Joshua Atagooyuk stands by a seal's breathing hole. He hunches over, silent, waiting. The sun crosses the sky, hours pass, yet Atagooyuk remains, waiting for the right moment to strike.

    Stories from Our Land: 1.5 gave 6 Nunavut filmmakers the opportunity to each create a 5-minute short. Each film had to be made without the use of interviews or narration while telling a northern story from a northern perspective. The project was a collaboration between the NFB and the Nunavut Film Development Corporation.