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Alanis Obomsawin’s acclaimed feature doc Trick or Treaty? screens May 30 at Halifax Central Library. Join special guests for “An Evening with Alanis Obomsawin,” celebrating one of Canada’s greatest artists.


May 5, 2016 – Montreal – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)

On May 30, Haligonians will have a chance to see Alanis Obomsawin’s multi-award-winning National Film Board of Canada (NFB) documentary Trick or Treaty? on the big screen and to meet this legendary filmmaker, at “An Evening with Alanis Obomsawin,” a special presentation at Halifax Central Library, starting at 6:30 p.m.

The event is a partnership between the NFB and Halifax Public Libraries, and it will be hosted by celebrated Nova Scotia author and filmmaker Sylvia Hamilton. Filmmaker Catherine Anne Martin will offer a traditional Mi’kmaq welcome, with Halifax poet laureate Rebecca Thomas performing a poem for Alanis and guests. Joining them will be NFB Chairperson and Government Film Commissioner Claude Joli-Coeur, for what promises to be a memorable night. Alanis will be taking questions from the audience following the screening―and be sure to stick around for a raffle of an autographed Alanis Obomsawin DVD boxset!

The May 30 screening coincides with the latest honour for Ms. Obomsawin: an honorary doctorate from Dalhousie University, presented as part of its Spring Convocation 2016 events.

About Trick or Treaty?

In 1905, the British Crown and the Canadian government entered into an agreement with the Cree and Ojibway in Ontario and Manitoba: the James Bay Treaty, or Treaty No. 9. Signed over 100 years ago, the treaty is still called into question today by a number of Indigenous people and Canadians who want to set the record straight.

Trick or Treaty? follows the journey of Indigenous people in their quest for justice as they seek to establish dialogue with the Canadian government. By tracing the history of their ancestors, they want to raise awareness about the issues that concern them: respect for and protection of their lands and their natural resources, and the right to hunt and fish so that their society can prosper.

Released in 2014, this feature documentary was the first film by an Indigenous filmmaker ever selected to screen in the Toronto International Film Festival’s Masters program. Trick or Treaty? also received the Audience Choice Award at the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival and the Mark Haslam Award at the Planet in Focus International Environmental Film & Video Festival.

About Alanis Obomsawin

A member of the Abenaki Nation and an Officer of the Order of Canada, Obomsawin is one of Canada’s most distinguished artists. Throughout a legendary career at the NFB spanning more than four decades, she’s directed documentaries that chronicle the lives and concerns of First Nations people and explore issues of importance to all.

Obomsawin has received numerous awards for film and social activism. In 2015 alone, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Valdivia Film Festival in Chile and the Career Achievement Award from Artistes pour la Paix, and was named a Companion of the Ordre des arts et des lettres du Québec. She is currently in production on two upcoming NFB documentaries, Children’s Court Case (2016) and Norway House (2017).


“The NFB is committed to being a world leader in producing films by Indigenous directors as well as films by women―and Alanis Obomsawin has been, and continues to be, a trailblazer in both of those great efforts. Her almost 50-year-long career at the NFB truly merits the term ‘historic.’ She has made history. Alanis sees injustice and suffering, and she’s compelled to act. She sees those without a voice, and she’s driven to tell their stories. There are people from one end of the country to the other whose lives she’s helped to change through her landmark films, through her ceaseless commitment to social justice. I’m so very proud of the NFB’s ongoing association with this great artist.”

– Claude Joli-Coeur, Chairperson of the NFB and Government Film Commissioner

“Halifax Public Libraries has worked in partnership with the NFB for many years to bring meaningful film screenings to communities across the municipality. With Paul O’Regan Hall at Halifax Central Library, we have been able to broaden the variety of our programming and offer more opportunities for community members to engage with distinguished artists, like Alanis Obomsawin, in lively discussions. We encourage all to come to the library, hear Alanis Obomsawin, and take this opportunity to speak with her.”

– Hilary Skov-Nielsen, Manager, Programming, Halifax Central Library


Associated Links

An Evening with Alanis Obomsawin
Halifax Central Library
Spring Convocation 2016 event

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  • About the NFB

    The NFB is Canada’s public producer and distributor of award-winning documentaries and auteur animation, working with talented creators across the country. The NFB is taking action to combat systemic racism and become a more open and diverse organization, while working to strengthen Indigenous-led production and gender equity in film. NFB productions have won more than 7,000 awards, including 12 Oscars. To access this unique content, visit NFB.ca.