This weekend we present a short documentary produced by distinguished filmmaker, drummer, teacher and author Catherine Martin about the first Idle No More event in Nova Scotia, on December 14, 2012 at the Grand Parade across from City Hall in Halifax.
Nova Scotia indie filmmaker Ann Verrall often makes movies and documentaries collaborating with youths , and she’s really good at it. What’s with that Treaty? is a great example. The video was made by students of We’koqma’q Mi’kmaq School in Cape Breton during a 5-day video intensive. Students document Treaty Day activities, Orange Shirt Day, meet with elders Joe Googoo, Magit Poulette, Ben Sylliboy, and Malglit Pelletier, and explore Treaty Education. Students also talk about the impact of residential school on them.
Judy Haiven attended a talk by Mi’kmaq lawyer and activist Pam Palmater on the topic of reconciliation. “We are running to do ‘good stuff’ but we haven’t done the hard stuff,” she told the audience.
The Mi’kmaq often refer to Black Ash wood as white gold: It’s the perfect material for basket-making, but now that the Emerald Ash Borer has arrived on the east coast, the Black Ash is in danger of disappearing entirely in Nova Scotia. Quentin Kerr investigates these new threats to the Black Ash tree, and how Mi’kmawey Forestry, imbued with the spirit of Netukulimk, is doing what it can to preserve the species.
Check out this weekend’s Weekend video, We story the land, a documentary by the always excellent Martha Stiegman (and co-produced and directed by Sherry Pictou) that follows seven paddlers from L’sitkuk (Bear River First Nation) as they travel inland following almost forgotten traditional Mi’kmaq canoe routes. It’s really good.
Ricky RIchard reflects on the tremendous debt he and fellow Acadians owe to the Mi’kmaq for shielding them when they were chased and deported by the British. “I am alive today because of the Mi’kmaq. I want to thank them. I owe them my life and that is a debt I cannot possibly repay. … My life is theirs, but I am ashamed of the way we have treated the Mi’kmaq. We have dispossessed them of their land, their livelihood, their ways, their dignity. History teaches us that too many injustices have been brought to bear on such a generous and welcoming people,” writes Richard in this remarkable open letter.
This is the heart wrenching story of a young Mi’kmaw woman we’ll call Angela, about the police officer who harassed her, her struggle to recover from an arrest and curfew for the possession of one single hydromorphone pill, the loss of her young son, and much more.
This weekend’s video is a short and sweet CBC news report by Elizabeth McMillan on two Mi’kmaq teens from the community of L’sitkuk, Bear River First Nation, who are getting an opportunity to work in Kejimkujik National Park with Todd Labrador. Labrador is one of the few people in Canada still making traditional birchbark canoes. Also, a portion of a longer interview with Labrador by Silver Donald Cameron.
This weekend’s weekend video is Etlinisigu’niet (Bleed Down), by Mi’kmaq filmmaker Jeff Barnaby. its theme is the violent destruction of indigenous identity in Canada by white settler culture. It’s quite terrifying to watch.
This weekend we present a short video on traditional Mi’kmaq eel fisheries in winter. Check it out, it’s a good one!