Aug 11, 2017 | 7:00 pm
Series of four films by First Nations filmmakers that remix archival footage to address Indigenous identity and representation, reframing Canadian history through a contemporary lens.
Etlinisigu’niet (Bleed Down) (2015 | 5 min), by Jeff Barnaby
Jeff Barnaby’s Etlinisigu’niet (Bleed Down) destroys any remaining shreds of the mythology of a fair and just Canada. His message is clear: attempts to “get rid of the Indian problem” have failed. Featuring music by Tanya Tagaq.
Mobilize (2015 | 3 min), by Caroline Monnet
This short film, crafted entirely out of NFB archival footage by First Nations filmmaker Caroline Monnet, takes us on an exhilarating journey from the Far North to the urban south, capturing the perpetual negotiation between the traditional and the modern by a people moving ever forward.
Nimmikaage (She Dances for People) (2015 | 3 min), by Michelle Latimer
Both a requiem for and an honouring of Canada’s First Nations, Métis and Inuit women, this short film deconstructs the layers of Canadian nationalism. In the process, it reverses the colonial lens by shifting the balance of power to reclaim the Canadian narrative, putting the enduring strength and resilience of Indigenous women at the forefront.
Sisters & Brothers (2015 | 3 min), by Kent Monkman
In a pounding critique of Canada’s colonial history, this short film draws parallels between the annihilation of the bison in the 1890s and the devastation inflicted on the Indigenous population by the residential school system.
You Are on Indian Land (1969 | 36 min), by Michael Kanentakeron Mitchell
The film shows the confrontation between police and a 1969 demonstration by Mohawks of the St. Regis Reserve on the bridge between Canada and the United States near Cornwall, Ontario. By blocking traffic on the bridge, which is on the Reserve, the Indians drew public attention to their grievance that they were prohibited by Canadian authorities from duty-free passage of personal purchases across the border, a right they claim was established by the Jay Treaty of 1794.
Nowhere Land (2015 | 15 min), by Rosie Bonnie Ammaaq
This short documentary is a quiet elegy for the ancestral Inuit way of life, which exists now only in the memories of those who experienced it. Bonnie Ammaaq and her family remember it vividly. When Bonnie was a little girl, her parents packed up their essentials, bundled her and her younger brother onto a long, fur-lined sled called a qamutik, and left the government-manufactured community of Igloolik to live off the land as had generations of Inuit before them. For 11 years their home was not just the small shack called “Outpost Camp” but the entire vast and beautiful territory that lay outside its door. For them, the wild open tundra wasn’t just somewhere to live, it was somewhere — whereas the settlement of Igloolik, with its raucous snowmobiles, flat and snowy landscapes and relative hustle-bustle, is unquestionably nowhere.
Two Worlds Colliding (2004 | 49 min), by Tasha Hubbard
This documentary chronicles the story of Darrell Night, a Native man who was dumped by two police officers in a barren field on the outskirts of Saskatoon in January 2000, during -20° C temperatures. He found shelter at a nearby power station and survived the ordeal, but he was stunned to hear that the frozen body of another Aboriginal man was discovered in the same area. Days later, another victim, also Native, was found.
This film is an inquiry into what came to be known as Saskatoon’s infamous “freezing deaths” and the schism between a fearful, mistrustful Aboriginal community and a police force that must come to terms with a shocking secret.
Incident at Restigouche (1984 | 45 min), by Alanis Obomsawin
On June 11 and 20, 1981, the Québec Provincial Police (QPP) raided Restigouche Reserve, Québec. At issue were the salmon-fishing rights of the Mi’kmaq people. Because salmon has traditionally been a source of food and income for the Mi’kmaq, the Québec government’s decision to restrict fishing aroused consternation and anger. This film provides a historical perspective on the issue, and documents, with newsclips, photographs and interviews, the two police raids. An interview with former Québec Minister of Fisheries Lucien Lessard explaining the motives of his decision complements the Mi’kmaqs’ account of the event. This investigation into the history-making raids is a powerful film that puts justice on trial.
Art Crawl: Displacement, Representation, and Mistreatment – Wide Awake Indigenous Cinema Tour. More information here.