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Our People Will Be Healed

Alanis Obomsawin
2017 | 97 min

Selections and Awards

  • Official Selection - Masters ProgramToronto International Film Festival 2017

  • Official SelectionImagineNATIVE 2017

  • Official SelectionCalgary International Film Festival 2017

  • Official SelectionAtlantic International Film Festival 2017

  • Official SelectionCinefest Sudbury 2017

  • Official SelectionVancouver International Film Festival 2017

  • Official SelectionRIDM 2017

  • Official SelectionCanada's Top Ten 2018

  • Official SelectionMontreal First Peoples Festival 2018

Long description


Promotional Materials


Alanis Obomsawin
Director | Writer | Producer
Photo : Cosmos Image

Alanis Obomsawin

Alanis Obomsawin, a member of the Abenaki Nation, is one of Canada’s most distinguished documentary filmmakers. As a prolific director with the National Film Board, she has created an extensive body or work focusing on the lives and concerns of Canada’s First Nations.

She began her professional career in 1960 as a singer in New York City. In 1967, producers Joe Koenig and Bob Verrall invited her to join the NFB as an adviser on a film about Indigenous peoples. She has not put down her camera since.

An activist as well as a filmmaker, Obomsawin is driven to provide a forum for the country’s First Peoples. Her entire filmography is a testament to that desire. Her documentaries have always sought to show the importance of roots and strong intergenerational bonds for the preservation of Indigenous cultures—from Christmas at Moose Factory (1971), in which she used children’s drawings to tell the story of a Cree village on the shore of James Bay, Ontario, to Jordan River Anderson, The Messenger (2019), her most recent film (her 52nd), which documents the long struggle to establish the right of Indigenous children to receive, in their own communities, the same high standard of health care as the rest of the Canadian population.

Obomsawin is a director who knows how to film conflict, as demonstrated by her four films about the Oka Crisis of 1990: Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance (1993), winner of 18 international awards; My Name Is Kahentiiosta (1995); Spudwrench: Kahnawake Man (1997); and Rocks at Whiskey Trench (2000).

Other films in this category are Incident at Restigouche (1984), an intense, gripping account of a raid by provincial police on a Mi’kmaq reserve in Quebec; Richard Cardinal: Cry from the Diary of a Métis Child (1986), a disturbing look at the suicide of an adolescent; and more recently, The People of the Kattawapiskak River, an in-depth investigation of the Cree housing crisis at James Bay, which won the award for best social/political documentary at the 2014 Canadian Screen Awards, as well as Hi-Ho Mistahey!, which had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2013 and was  nominated for best feature documentary at the 2014 Canadian Screen Awards. In 2018, a more serene Obomsawin documentary, Our People Will Be Healed, won the APTN Award at the Montreal First Peoples’ Festival.

The people of the community of Odanak and their stories are at the heart of her widely acclaimed Waban-Aki: People from Where the Sun Rises (2006), and her short film Sigwan (2005). The village’s basket-makers inspired her to make a series of prints, which will be exhibited at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts from June 7 to August 25, 2019.

Alanis Obomsawin has received numerous awards and honours throughout her career. She was inducted into the Canadian Film and Television Hall of Fame in 2010, and in 2014 she received the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television Humanitarian Award, an honour given in recognition of exceptional contributions to the community and the public sector. In 2015, the Valdivia International Film Festival (Chile) recognized her body of work with its Lifetime Achievement Award, and she received an Honorary Life Member Award from the Directors’ Guild of Canada in 2018.

Obomsawin has received honorary doctorates from many universities, including Dalhousie University in 2016 and McGill University in 2017. In 2016, she also received two of the highest civilian honours conferred by the Province of Quebec when she was named a Grand Officer of the National Order of Quebec and awarded the Prix Albert-Tessier.  In 2019, she became a Companion of the Order of Canada.

Annette Clarke
Executive Producer
Photo : Dave Howells

Annette Clarke

As executive producer of the English Quebec and Atlantic Studio, Annette Clarke leads a team committed to an ambitious story slate. Recent credits include How to Be at Home, a pandemic-themed animated shortFar Away From Far Awaylong-form interactive story for mobile devices; and Assholes: A Theory, a topical treatise on bad behaviourCurrent projects include the feature doc Seguridada look at patriarchy inside post-revolutionary Cuba, and Dear Audrey, a beautiful and unusual love story.  


Inauguration of the Helen Betty Osborne Ininew Resource Centre in Norway House, Manitoba
Charmaine Condappa, Science Teacher
Arapaho Sun Dance Smithsonian Anthropological Archives (Collected by the Bureau of American Ethnology) 1850s-1930s
Gordon Walker and Madeline Gamblin wedding
Agnes Mowat Principal of Helen Betty Osborne Ininew Resource Centre in Norway House, Manitoba
Gordon Walker, Cree Language and Culture Advisor
Frontier Division annual Fiddle Jamboree
Dennis Day, Cree Language Teacher
Blackfoot Sun Dance 1893 Smithsonian Anthropological Archives (Collected by the Bureau of American Ethnology) 1850s-1930s
Marshall Mowatt and nephew
North American Indians Curtis Archives


Director / Writer
Alanis Obomsawin

Alison Burns

René Sioui Labelle
Kent Nason
Maarten Kroonenburg
Ben Low

Drone Footage
Robert Rideout

Still photography
Shawn Scribe
Bruce Folster
Doug Braden

Additional footage
Violet Enns

Location Sound
Glenn Hodgins
Thierry Morlaas-Lurbe
Gaëlle Komar

Production Assistant
Ryan Queskekapow

Local Guide
John Leo Woolsey         

Original Music by
Michel Dubeau
Lauren Bélec

Flutes, Futujara, Bawu
Michel Dubeau

Guitar, Piano, Percussion
Lauren Bélec    

Alanis Obomsawin

Voice Recording & Music Pre-mix
Geoffrey Mitchell

Sound Editors
Don Ayer
Leopoldo Gutierrez

Assistant Sound Editor
Eric Marapin

Katherine Kasirer
Alanis Obomsawin

Cree Translation
Madeline Gamblin       

Rights Clearance
Mylène Augustin

Serge Verreault

Graphic Design & Titles
Mélanie Bouchard
Jacques-Bertrand Simard

Digital Editing Technicians
Pierre Dupont
Isabelle Painchaud
Patrick Trahan

Technical Coordinators
Jean-François Laprise
Daniel Lord
Daniel Claveau

Technical Coordinator, Projects and Shooting Equipment
Steve Hallé

Marketing Manager
François Jacques

Marketing Coordinator
Jolène Lessard

Patricia Dillon-Moore

Legal Counsel
Dominique Aubry

Production Coordinators
Christine Williams
Mylène Augustin

Senior Production Coordinators
Isabelle Limoges
Camila Blos

Program Administrators
Leslie Anne Poyntz
Camila Blos

Alanis Obomsawin

Executive Producer
Annette Clarke

Executive Director
Michelle Van Beusekom

Press Relations

  • About the NFB

    The NFB is Canada’s public producer and distributor of award-winning documentaries, auteur animation, interactive stories, and participatory experiences. Since 1968, the NFB has produced over 300 works by First Nations, Métis and Inuit filmmakers—an unparalleled collection that pushes past dominant narratives and provides Indigenous perspectives to Canadian and global audiences. The NFB is implementing an action plan with commitments that include devoting a minimum of 15 percent of overall production spending to Indigenous-led productions and making these works more accessible via Indigenous Cinema, a destination on NFB.ca.