September 21, 2022 – Montreal – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)
The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) is marking this year’s Truth and Reconciliation Week with interactive, virtual and in-person events to bring Canadians closer to Indigenous culture, history and its diverse people. From Toronto to Winnipeg to Vancouver, the events will be hosted by the NFB Education team, in addition to a two-day free public event at Toronto’s Nathan Phillips Square presented by J’net Ayayqwayaksheelth, the NFB’s Director of Indigenous Relations and Community Engagement, as well as new and updated works by legendary Abenaki filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin and Métis artist Tyler Hagan.
Truth and Reconciliation Week is a national program open to schools across Canada, offering educational activities for grades one through 12 to raise awareness of the residential school system and how its legacy affected Indigenous Peoples and shaped the country we live in today.
This year’s theme is “Remembering the Children,” an invitation for Canadians to learn the truth about Canada’s history from First Nations, Métis and Inuit Elders and Knowledge Keepers, and listen to them and their communities as we move collectively as a country towards the path to reconciliation.
In addition to bringing awareness and giving voice to the various Indigenous communities across Canada during Truth and Reconciliation Week, the NFB—through the works it produces, its educational programs and the films it offers to Canadians free of charge on nfb.ca—creates opportunities all year round to continuously reinforce the importance of recognizing the invaluable contribution of Indigenous communities.
NFB Education activities to commemorate Truth and Reconciliation Week
Webinar on September 12
Digital Storytelling Activity
- The NFB led two webinars on September 12, 2022, at 10 a.m. EST (French) and 1 p.m. EST (English), to teach students the basics of digital storytelling using its online filmmaking program for students, Media School.
- Media School educational designers and developers in Montreal, Brian Sellors and Marc-Andre Roy, led the sessions in English and French, respectively.
- Educators who did not already subscribe to CAMPUS, the platform that houses Media School, were able to register for the free webinar directly in the Media School online program, as well as receive free three-month access following the webinars.
- The webinars were hosted by the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation as part of its program for Truth and Reconciliation Week, to help students use this medium to express their personal relationship to reconciliation.
Workshop on September 21
Drafting a Statement of Reconciliation
- Virtual workshops on how to draft a Statement of Reconciliation will take place on September 21, 2022, at 11 a.m. EST (French) and 2 p.m. EST (English). Joël Tétrault, a francophone Métis educator from the Louis Riel School Division in Winnipeg, will lead the workshop in French and NFB Education Manager Ross Johnstone in Vancouver will lead the workshop in English.
- Students will then be invited to share their Statement of Reconciliation on social media using the hashtag #NationalTRW.
A free public event on September 29 and 30
Crushing Powwow Stereotypes with J’net Ayayqwayaksheelth, NFB’s Director of Indigenous Relations and Community Engagement
Premiering September 30 on nfb.ca
Honour to Senator Murray Sinclair by Alanis Obomsawin (29 min.)
- As the Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Senator Murray Sinclair was a key figure in raising global awareness of the atrocities of Canada’s residential school system.
- In her film, acclaimed filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin shares the powerful speech the Senator gave when he accepted the WFM-Canada World Peace Award, interspersing the heartbreaking testimonies of former students imprisoned at residential schools.
- Honour to Senator Murray Sinclair was one of Canada’s Top Ten short films for 2021, as chosen by the Toronto International Film Festival.
- A member of the Abenaki Nation and one of Canada’s most distinguished filmmakers, Alanis Obomsawin is now in the 55th year of a legendary filmmaking career, devoted to chronicling the lives and concerns of First Nations people and exploring issues of importance to all.
Updated interactive documentary Similkameen Crossroads now online
- In early summer of 2021, St. Ann’s Catholic Church in the Similkameen Valley of British Columbia, the building at the centre of Tyler Hagan’s 2013 interactive documentary Similkameen Crossroads, was burnt to the ground following the discovery of hundreds of unmarked children’s graves at the site of a nearby ex-residential school. Many other Catholic churches located on Indigenous land across Canada were also burned and vandalized.
- In this context of heart-wrenching destruction, Hagan returned to the community to update Similkameen Crossroads and speak once again with Carrie Allison, the church’s caretaker, to get her perspective.
- Born Christian and raised in the suburbs, Filmmaker Tyler Hagan was thrust into an examination of faith and identity when his father died—triggering a process that eventually led him to claim Métis citizenship.
For more information on NFB Truth and Reconciliation Week events across Canada, visit events.nfb.ca.
– 30 –
Truth and Reconciliation Week
Indigenous Legacy Gathering
Toronto Council Fire
Association for Native Development and the Performing Arts
French version here | Version française ici.