Films and video on residential schools and reconciliation

2017 summer intensive

Aruna Srivastava, at the University of Calgary, is teaching a course this summer on residential schools and reconciliation — we expect some of the students to join in our discussions as well. In the meantime, she has let us re-post her course materials, including the list below of relevant films and videos. Most of these links should work, though one or two might require access to her Blackboard online course.

Item Century of Genocide
 OVimeo, recent. North American context for residential schools. Powerful short video.
Item Videos testimony/stories/histories of residential school
These can be found elsewhere on the site, but please suggest ones you find for inclusion in this folder.
Item Residential school digital resistance narratives
A TRC funded project, seven videos produced by seven young Indigenous researchers for the UVic Centre for Youth and Society (CFYS)’s project, “Resistance Narratives: Strategies and Significance for Indigenous Youth.” Using digital storytelling, the youth identified and celebrated strategies of resistance that enabled family and community members to survive the Indian Residential Schools of Vancouver Island.
Item Digital stories by women on intergenerational effects of residential schools
This project set out to understand better how the residential school legacy passes on between generations. It involved a process of documenting, in First Nations women’s own words and “digital stories”, their understanding of how they had been impacted by the schools. A “digital story” is a 2-5 minute video. It is a personal narrative coupled with a collection of still images, video, and music which illustrates an individual’s story.
Item Aboriginal films about residential school: library holdings
The library has the following films about residential schools, most available on one-week loan. Many are on DVD; some are VHS. You will find some of these at the Doucette library, as well as TFDL. There are good resources at the library for playing media, and you can book viewing rooms as well. Many are available on Netflix, iTunes and some on Youtube.

Muffins for Granny
Older Than America
Shi Shi Etko (based on children’s book)
When Sleeping Children Wake (based on play Path With No Moccasins)
When All the Leaves are Gone
A Windigo Tale (script available on website
Films available online, on Netflix, public libraries, iTunes etc:Older than America (Netflix)
Where the Spirit Lives 
Fallen Feather
We Were Children
 (sometimes on APTN)

National Film Board

Return to Kuper Island
We Were Children (available at nominal fee through NFB Campus)

Item Television and broadcasting (click to open)
Includes  APTN, Isuma TV, Inuit Broadcasting, among others. Isuma TV, as well as many video sites, have survivors’ testimony.
Item BravoFact playlist of First Nations short films
BravoFact playlist of First Nations short films, including Shi-Shi-Etko, below. Take a look atShi-Shi-Etko  
by Nicola Campbell on Bravo. Doesn’t focus on the residential school experience itself but of being taken away. It makes a good parallel to the scene of the children being abducted in Australian Rabbit Proof Fence. Can also be found on Youtube.
Savage, is an effective companion piece. These two are of most interest to us, but look at some of the other shorts by indigenous filmmakers.
Item Experimental Eskimos (click to view)
In 1962 and 1963, three 12-year-old Inuit boys left their families in the Canadian Arctic and travelled south to live with white foster families and attend public schools in Ottawa. Federal government officials called the boys “an experiment”. The three boys – who scored very highly on IQ tests – were relocated, it was said, with the tacit approval of their parents and with the best of intentions. The idea was to see how the brightest young Inuit would fare in the competitive white man’s world and to prepare them for leadership positions as intermediaries for the government in their communities. The boys and their families were not aware that they were participants in an attempt to see how easily Inuit children could be assimilated. All three went on to become activists and a thorn on the side of the government that had brought them South.

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