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Idle Know More: Films to Strengthen the Idle No More Movement in Canada

by on December 22, 2012
 

Since the #Idlenomore movement began just a few short weeks ago, tens of thousands of Indigenous Peoples and allies in Canada and around the world have stepped forward to inform the Canadian government that it can no longer treat First Nations as zero class citizens who’s only right is to obey the government–and if you don’t like it, then too bad for you.

If you don’t realize it yet, this is exactly what Canada is saying through its attempt to legislate a suite of Bills that will fundamentally change First Nations lives without First Nations consent.

But #idlenomore isn’t just a protest movement or some silly social media trend as the government calls it. It’s an awakening of consciousness, a resurgence, a platform that is bringing all of us together against a common foe. And it’s not just the “usual suspects” leading the charge, it’s everyone, including those of us who have never taken a real interest in politics.

Canada’s indigenous movement has arrived.

Now, with this solid foundation in place, it is time for us to build on it—to make sure that #idlenomore can endure, to avoid old mistakes, to bring the results that we need to live our lives according to our own traditions and rights, and, most importantly, to make sure we never become idle again.

We can no longer afford to keeping treading in Canada’s dirty pool. It’s killing us.

A big part of the building is knowledge. We need to know exactly who Canada is and what exactly we’re dealing with. It’s not just one bill, or even eight. Rather, it is a legacy that Canada has kept alive (election after election after election) in order to extinguish us. Right now it’s Bill C-45 and all the other bills; before that, it was Residential Schools; the Native Sexual Sterilization Act; the imposition of the Band Council system; the 1969 White Paper; the creation of blood quantum; the abolishment of the National Indian government of Canada and, later, the co-optation of the Assembly of First Nations (formerly the National Indian Brotherhood); the creation of the word “Aboriginal” (which was meant to detach us from our “Indian” ancestors) …and the list goes on.

There’s alot for us to consider, but we have to consider it just the same. To help carry this forward, here’s a modest list of films you should probably check out. If you know of any other videos or any other useful stuff that should be here, please post it in the comments below.

Canada will never self-correct. It’s up to us to correct Canada, by example.

First Nations and Canada
http://intercontinentalcry.org/first-nations-and-canada-jurisdiction-and-education-presentation-by-sharon-venne/
In this 48 minute presentation, the respected Nehiyaw (Cree) lawyer Sharon Venne explains the Harper government’s current effort to unilaterally remodel Canada’s political landscape at the expense of all First Nations.

Where do WE Start the Conversation
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2W0LQ_TE5Gg
Pamela Palmater delivers a lecture at Carleton University on “Crown-Indigenous Relations in Canada: Where Do WE Start the Conversation?”

Indian Act & You
http://vimeo.com/15807536
The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne’s Nation Building Program Presents Indian Act & You. “In Order to understand our relationship with Canada and how that relationship came to be, we youth must understand our past in order to move forward towards self-governance”

Acts of Defiance
http://www.nfb.ca/film/acts_of_defiance/
This feature-length documentary recounts the events that surrounded and led to the so-called “Mohawk Crisis” of the summer of 1990. The film focuses on the Mohawk territory of Kahnawake, in Quebec, but also reflects on the relationship between Canada and its First Nations at a particular time in history.

Genocide, Assimilation or Incorporation?
http://intercontinentalcry.org/genocide-assimilation-or-incorporation/
Dr. Bonita Lawrence explores institutionalized racism, cultural genocide, and the history of aboriginal policy in Canada. Highly recommended viewing.

Our Nationhood
http://www.nfb.ca/film/our_nationhood
Alanis Obomsawin chronicles the determination and tenacity of the Listuguj Mi’gmaq people to use and manage the natural resources of their traditional lands. Our Nationhood provides a contemporary perspective on the Mi’gmaq people’s ongoing struggle and ultimate success, culminating in the community receiving an award for Best Managed River from the same government that had denied their traditional rights.

From Noble Savage to Righteous Warrior
http://intercontinentalcry.org/from-noble-savage-to-righteous-warrior/
Kanien’kehaka Educator, Author and Activist Taiaiake Alfred talks about the realities and challenges of nativism, decolonization and indigeneity

American Holocaust: When It’s All Over I’ll Still Be Indian
http://intercontinentalcry.org/american-holocaust-when-its-all-over-ill-still-be-indian/
The powerful and hard-hitting documentary, American Holocaust, is quite possibly the only film to reveal the link between the Nazi holocaust, which claimed at least 6 million Jews, and the American Holocaust which claimed, according to conservative estimates, 19 million Indigenous People

Native America: Discovered and Conquered
http://intercontinentalcry.org/native-america-discovered-and-conquered/
Professor Robert J. Miller sits down for one full hour to talk about the foundation of European claims to native lands in the Americas: the doctrine of discovery and “manifest destiny”.

Dancing Around the Table
http://www.nfb.ca/film/dancing_around_the_table_1
http://www.nfb.ca/film/dancing_around_the_table_part_two
A documentary about the Conferences on the Constitutional Rights of the Aboriginal Peoples of Canada (1983-85), focusing on the concept of self-government.

The Canary Effect
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lD7x6jryoSA
The grim legacy of America’s treatment of its native peoples is explored in detail in this documentary. Filmmakers Robin Davey and Yellow Thunder Woman take the perspective that if one is to define “genocide” as the a deliberate effort by a government to exterminate a people, then the United States is clearly guilty of the crime given their actions against America’s indigenous population over the past 300 years.

Rooting our Lives in a Sustainable Paradigm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FuZ2CaENIrU
Traditional knowledge systems, culture and the arts as a grounding to a sustainable life. The importance of supporting youth and one another in the transition. Evon Peter is the executive director of Native Movement and former chief of the Neetsaii Gwich’in from Arctic Village in Northeastern Alaska.

You Are on Indian Land
http://intercontinentalcry.org/you-are-on-indian-land/
You Are on Indian Land was one of the first films in Canada to give voice to the concerns of Indigenous People.

Apples and Indians
http://intercontinentalcry.org/apples-and-indians/
Apples and Indians is a whimsical and profound 5-minute ride that sees Lorne Olson speeding through decades in search of his true identity.

   
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  • kellen seymour
    December 22, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    Several films i have to suggest
    “flow-for the love of water”
    “zietgiest”
    “zietgiest moving forward”
    “end of the road”
    “endgame” these films are great for expanding your knowledge of the current world state

    Reply

  • December 22, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    Please consider supporting our film, Fractured Land, about a young Dene law student from Treaty 8 territory, where oil and gas development are threatening water, public health and the ability of the people to exercise their rights to live in the traditional way.

    >> http://IndieGoGo.com/FracturedLand

    We’ve been filming for 2 years now and have about another year left before release, but need help raising funds to complete the film while building a coalition to support the work of Caleb and others around Western Canada.

    Our close-knit team has put together a collection of tempting rewards for financial backers of the project, each item helping to further the themes and storytelling from the film, while also offering solutions for healing this “fractured land.”

    Please SHARE our campaign and demo video throughout your networks!

    >> http://IndieGoGo.com/FracturedLand

    Many thanks for your support!
    Hilary

    Reply

  • December 23, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=10151366879203659&saved

    Bloods and Peigan Indians Dominate Lethbridge Alberta Mall

    “Idle No More” Drumming and Round Dance at the Park City Mall in Lethbridge Alberta Canada, Blackfoot Country, Treaty 7 Territory. 21 December, 2012. The Blackfoot Confederacy and their Allies Say No to the Violations of Aboriginal and Treaty Rights by the Illegitimate Harper Government. By helping to build up rather than extinguishing Aboriginal Canada we build a better Canada for all… a Canada of compromise, the rule of law, and peace keeping. Indian Act No. Section 35 Implementation and Enforcement Act, Yes.

    Reply

  • Meg
    December 24, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    Published on Monday, December 24, 2012
    by the Globe & Mail

    As Chief Spence Starves, Canadians Awaken from Idleness and Remember Their Roots
    by Naomi Klein
    http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/12/24-6

    Reply

  • Peter Steven
    January 14, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    Don’t forget Willie Dunn’s “Crowfoot” — a film ahead of its time and still powerful today. Can be seen for free on the NFB website.

    Reply

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