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WaaPaKe (Tomorrow)

WaaPaKe (Demain)
Dr Jules Arita Koostachin
2023 | 80 min
Original English version, Cree and French subtitles

Awards and Festivals

  • Official Selection Available Light Film Festival, Canada (2024)

  • Official Selection Victoria Film Festival, Canada (2024)

  • Best BC Film Award Vancouver International Film Festival, Canada (2023)

  • Official Selection ImagineNative Film + Media Arts Festival, Canada (2023)

  • Official Selection Yellowknife International Film Festival, Canada (2023)

  • Official Selection Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM), Canada (2023)






Joseph Dandurand, Kwantlen First Nation

Asivak Koostachin, Attawapiskat First Nation

Dr Jules Arita Koostachin, Attawapiskat First Nation



Dr Jules Arita Koostachin, Attawapiskat First Nation, Director of WaaPaKe. Photo credit: Image from the film - Courtesy of National Film Board of Canada.

Rita Okimawinninew, Attawapiskat First Nation, and her siblings - archive picture. Photo credit: Image from the film - Courtesy of National Film Board of Canada.

Three generations of Dr Jules Arita Koostachin's family including her mother and Indian Residential School Survivor, Rita Okimawinninew, and her grandparents - archive picture. Photo credit: Image from the film - Courtesy of National Film Board of Canada.

Archival photo of children attending an Indian Residential School in Canada. Photo credit: Image from the film - Courtesy of National Film Board of Canada.

Asivak Koostachin, Attawapiskat First Nation. Photo credit: Image from the film - Courtesy of National Film Board of Canada.

Joseph Dandurand, Kwantlen First Nation. Photo credit: Image from the film - Courtesy of National Film Board of Canada.

Joseph Dandurand, Kwantlen First Nation. Photo credit: Image from the film - Courtesy of National Film Board of Canada.

Maisie Smith, Champagne and Aishihik First Nations. Photo credit: Image from the film - Courtesy of National Film Board of Canada.

Maisie Smith, Champagne and Aishihik First Nations. Photo credit: Image from the film - Courtesy of National Film Board of Canada.


Dr Jules Arita Koostachin

Photo : Karolina Turek

Teri Snelgrove

Photo : Emily Cooper

Shirley Vercruysse
Executive Producer

Photo : Myriam Frenette


Written and Directed by
Dr. Jules Arita Koostachin

Teri Snelgrove

Line Producer
Jennifer Roworth

Director of Photography
Michael Bourquin

Jessica Dymond

Justin Delorme

Rita Okimawinninew
Asivak Koostachin
Joseph Dandurand
Maisie Smith
Jules Arita Koostachin
Pawaken Koostachin-Chakasim
Tapwewin Koostachin-Chakasim
Mahiigan Koostachin
Connor Nichol
Lynn Power

In memory of
Stevie Nichol and Peter Okimawinninew

Production Manager
Angie Nolan

Sound Recordists
Ramsay Bourquin
Kaitlyn Redcrow

Additional Photography
Cameron Watts
Asivak Koostachin

Camera Operator
Cameron Watts

Joey Aleck

Production Designer
Yolonda Skelton

Title & Motion Graphics Designer
James Monkman

Key Hair & Make-Up Artists
Sheleah Bradley
Courtney Yellow-Quill

Production Coordinator
Nathan Conchie
Jas Calcitas
Maddy Chang

Production Assistants
Alexandra Knowles
Sarah Kelley
Mike Nichol
Richard Wilson
Bárbara Rafaela Guimaraes Costa

Indigenous Registered Clinical Counsellor
Lynn Power

Erika MacPherson
Angie Nolan

Sound Designer
Humberto Corte

Re-Recording Mixer
Isabelle Lussier

Dialogue Editor
Andrea Velarde Mosquera

Background Editor
James Neves

Serge Verreault

Graphic Artist
Bun Lee

Technical Coordinator
Wes Machnikowski

Chi Mii’kwetch
Jessie Anthony
Sam Bob
Roger Brown & Fiona Schmiegelow
Jake Chakasim
Kwantlen First Nation
Lara Mazur
Cheryl McKenzie
Ben Miljure
Chris Sheldon & Sim Camera
Darren Stollings
Colin Van Loon
Mike Wollin & Shoreline Studios

Adrian Sutherland/Midnight Shine Music
Michael Bourquin
James Buffin
Joseph Dandurand
Jules Arita Koostachin
Rita Okimawinninew
Maisie Smith
CTV News Vancouver
National Film Board of Canada Archives

Aldergrove Star
Langley School District to lower
flags in recognition of unmarked
indigenous graves,
Matthew Claxton, July 26, 2021

Al Jazeera Media Network
Pope apologises for ‘evil’ of Canada’s
residential schools,
Al Jazeera Staff, July 25, 2022

America The Jesuit Review
A burial site for Indigenous children
was found in Canada. Could it happen in
the United States?
Kevin Clarke, June 14, 2021

Williams Lake First Nation says its
located files showing additional deaths
at former residential school,
Danielle Paradis, January 26, 2023

BBC News
Dozens more graves found at former
residential school sites,
BBC News, February 16, 2022

BBC News
Jawbone found in possible unmarked
residential school grave,
Holly Honderich, January 12, 2022

Canada’s National Observer
‘Our people need healing’: We Wai Kai elder on
children’s residential school grave site,
Rochelle Baker, June 1, 2021

Canada’s National Observer
Reflections on National Indigenous Peoples Day
by residential school survivors,
Jessica Smith, June 21, 2022

CBC News
Feds appoint special interlocutor for
unmarked graves tied to residential
John Paul Tasker, June 8, 2022

CBC News
Interlocutor on unmarked graves
‘very concerned’ by feds $2M deal
with international organization,
Brett Forester, February 9, 2023

CBC News
New resources help Indigenous communities
start process of searching for unmarked graves,
Karen Pauls, June 14, 2021

CBC News
Research begins into unmarked
graves at site of St. Anne’s residential
CBC News, February 1, 2022

CBC News
Sask. First Nation announces
discovery of 751 unmarked graves
near former residential school,
Bryan Eneas, June 24, 2021

CBC News
Search of Pine Creek Residential
School site in western Manitoba finds
14 possible unmarked graves,
Rachel Bergen, August 8, 2022

CBC News
Some searches are done, but other residential
school sites in the northeast won’t be checked for several years,
Erik White, January 31, 2023

CTV News
Fort Albany Nation embarks on journey
to uncover truth behind St. Anne’s Indian
Residential School,
Lydia Chubak, January 30, 2022

Search reveals 169 potential unmarked
graves at former Canadian residential school,
officials say,
Amanda Musa, Aya Elamroussi, March 2, 2022

Remains of 215 children found buried near
school in Canada,
Paula Newton, June 1, 2021

Edmonton Journal
Four bands at Maskwacis honour memory
of children who perished at residential school,
Anna Junker, June 1, 2021

Global News
182 human remains in unmarked graves
found at site of former residential school in
Cranbrook, B.C.,
Amy Judd, Jon Azpiri, June 30, 2021

Global News
Search uncovers 171 ‘plausible burials’
near Ontario residential school,
Jordan Omstead, January 18, 2023

The Canadian Press
International group hired by
Ottawa asks to be given a chance on unmarked graves,
Stephanie Taylor, February, 22, 2023

The Canadian Press
Supreme Court will not hear from
St. Anne’s residential school survivors,
Stephanie Taylor, October 20, 2022

The Globe and Mail
Interim report on unmarked graves
finds Indigenous communities still
face insufficient funding, lack of
access to records,
Patrick White, November 11, 2022

The New York Times
‘Horrible History’: Mass Grave of
Indigenous Children Reported
in Canada,
Ian Austen, September 5, 2022

The Pillar
After Canadian residential school
discoveries, what does ‘reconciliation’
really look like?,
Elisha Valladares-Cormier, June 29, 2021

Chief cautions careful approach to
residential school burial site investigation,
Dariya Baiguzhiyeva, June 16, 2021

Timmins Today
Investigation begins into locating
possible burial sites at St. Anne’s,
Dariya Baiguzhiyeva, January 26, 2022

Kids’ Graves Exposed the Horror
of Canada’s Residential Schools.
Outrage isn’t Enough.,
Anya Zoledziowski, September 30, 2021

Marketing Manager
Kay Rondonneau

Marketing Coordinator
Julie Fortin

Katja De Bock

Studio Administrator
Carla Jones

Executive Producer
Shirley Vercruysse

Filmed on the Indigenous lands of the Stz’uminus, səl̓ilwətaɬ təməxʷ, Hul’qumi’num Treaty Group, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, Stó:lō Nation, xʷməθkʷəy̓əm,
Cayuse, Umatilla and Walla Walla, Semiahmoo, W̱ SÁNEĆ, Kwantlen First Nation, scəẁaθən məsteyəxʷ, sq̓ əc̓iy̓aɁɬ təməxʷ, Tāłtān Nation, Kwanlin Dün First Nation, Ta’an Kwäch’än Council, Champagne & Aishihik First Nation, Anishinabek Nation, Attawapiskat First Nation.

The National Indian Residential School Crisis Line provides 24-hour crisis support to former Indian Residential School students and their families toll-free at 1-866-925-4419.

© National Film Board of Canada, 2023.

Media 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.