National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Content Warning: The sites, films, and resources listed below include information about residential school experiences. If you require emotional support or assistance, please call the 24-hour Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line at 1-866-925-4419, or the Indian Residential School Survivors Society toll free line at 1-800-721-0066.

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

 

On September 30th, take time to recognize and commemorate the enduring legacy of residential schools. Below you'll find all sorts of resources to inform and help you on your personal and our collective journeys through reconciliation.


Learning and Taking Action - Gain a greater understanding of what reconciliation means, and how you can incorporate it into your daily life


 

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Below you'll find a selection of films by Indigenous filmmakers and allies about the tragic impact of residential schools in Canada. To view more, visit the National Film Board of Canada website


 

 The Road Forward The Road Forward

   Directed by Marie Clements

   2017 | 1 hour 41 min

The Road Forward, a musical documentary by Marie Clements, connects a pivotal moment in Canada’s civil rights history—the beginnings of Indian Nationalism in the 1930s—with the powerful momentum of First Nations activism today. The Road Forward’s stunningly shot musical sequences, performed by an ensemble of some of Canada’s finest vocalists and musicians, seamlessly connect past and present with soaring vocals, blues, rock, and traditional beats. A rousing tribute to the fighters for First Nations rights, a soul-resounding historical experience, and a visceral call to action.

 

Etlinisigu'niet (Bleed Down) Etlinisigu'niet (Bleed Down)

   Directed by Jeff Barnaby

   2015 | 5 min

In five short minutes, this short film destroys any remaining shreds of the myth of a fair and just Canada. Children forced from their homes and sent to residential schools, families examined like livestock in crowded tuberculosis clinics, tainted water and land, poisoned for industry and profit at the cost of Indigenous lives, and the list goes on. But filmmaker Jeff Barnaby's message is clear: We are still here. Featuring the music of Tanya Tagaq.

 

We Can't Make the Same Mistake Twice We Can't Make the Same Mistake Twice

   Directed by Alanis Obomsawin

   2016 | 2 hours 42 min

The rights of First Nations children take centre stage in this monumental documentary. Following a historic court case filed by the Assembly of First Nations and the Child and Family Caring Society of Canada against the federal government, Alanis Obomsawin exposes generations of injustices endured by First Nations children living on reserves and their families. Through passionate testimony and unwavering conviction, frontline childcare workers and experts including Cindy Blackstock take part in a decade-long court battle to ensure these children receive the same level of care as other Canadian children. Their case against Canada is a stark reminder of the disparities that persist in First Nations communities and the urgent need for justice to be served.

 

The Amendment The Amendment

   Directed by Kevin Papatie

   2007 | 4 min

In the Kitcisakik community, the Algonquin language is dying out, just four generations after the federal government's assimilation policy came into effect.

 

Foster Child Foster Child

   Directed by Gil Cardinal

   1987 | 43 min

An important figure in the history of Canadian Indigenous filmmaking, Gil Cardinal was born to a Métis mother but raised by a non-Indigenous foster family, and with this auto-biographical documentary he charts his efforts to find his biological mother and to understand why he was removed from her. Considered a milestone in documentary cinema, it addressed the country’s internal colonialism in a profoundly personal manner, winning a Special Jury Prize at Banff and multiple international awards. “Foster Child is one of the great docs to come out of Canada, and nobody but Gil could have made it,” says Jesse Wente, director of Canada’s Indigenous Screen Office. “Gil made it possible for us to think about putting our own stories on the screen, and that was something new and important.”

 

Our People Will Be Healed Our People Will Be Healed

   Directed by Alanis Obomsawin

   2017 | 1 hour 37 min

Our People Will Be Healed, Alanis Obomsawin’s 50th film, reveals how a Cree community in Manitoba has been enriched through the power of education. The Helen Betty Osborne Ininiw Education Resource Centre in Norway House, north of Winnipeg, receives a level of funding that few other Indigenous institutions enjoy. Its teachers help their students to develop their abilities and their sense of pride.

 

Augusta Augusta

   Directed by Anne Wheeler

   1976 | 16 min

This short documentary offers an intimate portrait of Augusta Evans, an 88-year-old Secwépmec woman who has spent her life in the hills of the Williams Lake area of British Columbia, where she lives alone in a log cabin without running water or electricity. Born the daughter of a Chief, Augusta was forced to attend residential school and lost her treaty status when she wed her non-Indigenous husband. After seeing a woman lose her life in childbirth, Augusta taught herself midwifery from a book and delivered many babies, including her own daughter, whom she birthed alone in her cabin. Having lived through many losses and now surviving on a $250 monthly pension that barely covers wood and groceries, Augusta is a cherished member of her community, where she shares her knowledge and songs, and laments that the young people are not learning their language.