June is Indigenous History Month. As Canadians, we care about each other. We value fairness and are proud of our diversity. Efforts at reconciliation have begun, but we still have a long way to go.
Today we affirm our desire to go beyond celebrating and learning from Indigenous peoples by encouraging the truth-telling and reparative work that is necessary for our country to become one that truly ensures justice and freedom for all.
Please join us online for this three-part cinematic affirmation of the need for Indigenous self-determination. Indigenous lives matter; they always have, and they always will.
Three Feathers (June 22) illustrates how indigenous traditions - including practices of restorative justice, and reconnecting with the land and Elders – can shape more compassionate responses to wrong-doing and foster more effective alternatives to punishment. Filmed entirely in the North, in four languages, featuring a cast of 100% Northerners, and based on a book by Dene author Richard van Camp, Three Feathers is a tribute to the talent and richness of the North.
Tasha Hubbard’s film, nîpawistamâsowin We Will Stand Up (June 26), presents the heartbreaking story of Colten Boushie, a young Cree man fatally shot by a white farmer in Saskatchewan who was later acquitted by an all-white jury. In this current moment of acute awareness of violence against Black and Indigenous people, nîpawistamâsowin We Will Stand Up presents a compelling need for change in the way Indigenous communities are policed and the way justice is practised in this country. We present this film as part of our commitment to speak out about the racism that Indigenous peoples continue to endure in this country. We hope it will inspire greater understanding, empathy, and insight.
Finally, Canadian courts are increasingly recognizing Indigenous rights and title, much to the credit of Indigenous peoples who have persisted in keeping Indigenous history, practices, and worldviews alive. Locally, this includes the struggle for formal recognition of the Sinixt as a thriving people who are definitely not extinct. The story of Sinixt courage and persistence is beautifully told in Older Than The Crown (June 30).