The National Film Board has been creating and distributing excellent Indigenous films for as long as I can remember. Growing up as a non-indigenous Canadian, Indigenous NFB/ONF filmmakers like Alanis Obomsawin, Willie Dunn, and Gil Cardinal shaped some of my earliest understandings of Indigenous people, history, and culture.
Later, as a young adult, I enjoyed and learned from the films of Loretta Todd, Zacharias Kunuk, and Barb Cranmer.
More recently, I have appreciated and been moved by Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers’ Kímmapiiyipitssini: The Meaning of Empathy, an intimate portrait of the impacts of the substance use and overdose epidemic on the Kainai First Nation and the community’s response. I also recommend Christine Welsh’s Finding Dawn, a compelling documentary that puts a human face on a national tragedy – the epidemic of missing or murdered Indigenous women in Canada. Mary Two-Axe Earley: I Am Indian Again, by Courtney Montour, is a powerful film about Mary Two-Axe Earley, who fought for more than two decades to challenge sex discrimination against First Nations women embedded in Canada’s Indian Act.
June is National Indigenous History Month; a great time to check out the NFB/ONF’s Indigenous Voices and Reconciliation channel.
I will be watching some new movies too.
Image: NFB/ONF blog: Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers with crew on the Kainai Nation. Photo by Arnell Tailfeathers
Catherine Fisher, blogger