Since the 1970s dozens of women, including many Indigenous women, living in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside have been murdered or gone missing. The first Women’s Memorial March took place in 1992 to commemorate the life of a woman murdered on Powell Street and it has been held ever since to honour all women living in the Downtown Eastside.

The 30th Annual Women’s Memorial March happens on Sunday, February 14th 2021. The march starts at 12:00 PM from Main and Hastings (Carnegie Community Centre). There will be stops along the way to commemorate where women were last seen or found; speeches by community activists at Main and Hastings; a healing circle at Oppenheimer Park around 2:30 PM; and a social distanced community feast at the Japanese Language Hall. Physical distancing and masks are required. The march will also be live streamed. Please see the “February 14 Women’s Memorial March DTES” Facebook page for more information.

 

Additional Resources

Indigenous women living in the Downtown Eastside face disproportionate levels of violence, poverty and racism. To learn more about the experiences of Indigenous women living in the Downtown Eastside, please see the resources below.

 

“Survival, Strength, Sisterhood: Power of Women in the Downtown Eastside” by Alejandro Zuluaga and Harsha Walia: A short film that documents the 20 year history of the annual Women’s Memorial March for missing and murdered women in Vancouver, Coast Salish Territories. By focusing on the voices of women who live, love, and work in the Downtown Eastside this film debunks the sensationalism surrounding a neighbourhood deeply misunderstood, and celebrates the complex and diverse realities of women organizing for justice.

 

“Finding Dawn” by Christine Welsh: Dawn Crey. Ramona Wilson. Daleen Kay Bosse. These are just three of the estimated 500 Indigenous women who have gone missing or been murdered in Canada over the past thirty years. Directed by acclaimed Métis filmmaker Christine Welsh, Finding Dawn is a compelling documentary that puts a human face to this national tragedy. This is an epic journey into the dark heart of Indigenous women’s experience in Canada. From Vancouver’s skid row, where more than 60 women are missing, we travel to the Highway of Tears in northern British Columbia, and onward to Saskatoon, where the murders and disappearances of Indigenous women remain unresolved. Along the road to honour those who have passed, we uncover reason for hope. It lives in Indigenous rights activists Professor Janice Acoose and Fay Blaney. It drives events such as the annual Women’s Memorial March in Vancouver and inspires communities all along the length of Highway 16 to come together to demand change. Finding Dawn illustrates the deep historical, social and economic factors that contribute to the epidemic of violence against Indigenous women in this country. It goes further to present the ultimate message that stopping the violence is everyone’s responsibility. Find this film at UBC online or at X̱wi7x̱wa Library.

 

“Red Women Rising” report: Red Women Rising is an extraordinary report with Indigenous women survivors at the center; rather than as a secondary reference. Indigenous women in the Downtown Eastside (DTES)a neighbourhood known as ground zero for violence against Indigenous womenare not silent victims, statistics, or stereotypes. This unprecedented work shares their powerful first-hand realities of violence, residential schools, colonization, land, resource extraction, family trauma, poverty, labour, housing, child welfare, being two-spirit, police, prisons, legal system, opioid crisis, healthcare, and more.

 

“Remembering Vancouver’s Disappeared Women: Settler Colonialism and the Difficulty of Inheritance” by Amber Dean: Between the late 1970s and the early 2000s, at least sixty-five women, many of them members of Indigenous communities, were found murdered or reported missing from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. In a work driven by the urgency of this ongoing crisis, which extends across the country, Amber Dean offers a timely, critical analysis of the public representations, memorials, and activist strategies that brought the story of Vancouver’s disappeared women to the attention of a wider public. Remembering Vancouver’s Disappeared Women traces “what lives on” from the violent loss of so many women from the same neighbourhood. This book is available online or physically from X̱wi7x̱wa Library.

 

“Keetsahnak / Our Missing and Murdered Indigenous Sisters” (Chapter 1) edited by Kim Anderson, Maria Campbell and Christi Belcourt: In Keetsahnak / Our Murdered and Missing Indigenous Sisters, the tension between personal, political, and public action is brought home starkly as the contributors look at the roots of violence and how it diminishes life for all. Together, they create a model for anti-violence work from an Indigenous perspective. They acknowledge the destruction wrought by colonial violence, and also look at controversial topics such as lateral violence, challenges in working with “tradition,” and problematic notions involved in “helping.” Through stories of resilience, resistance, and activism, the editors give voice to powerful personal testimony and allow for the creation of knowledge. This book is available online or physically from X̱wi7x̱wa Library.

For additional information and research help, please see X̱wi7x̱wa Library’s “Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women & Girls (MMIWG)” research guide.

Need a break from academia? We’ve put together a selection of love-themed Indigenous reads for you and your family this Valentine’s Day and Reading Week. Find these resources at UBC’s Xwi7wxa Library or check your local public library.

Want even more loveable reads? Check out last year’s Valentine’s Day reading list.

 

The Bear’s Medicine, written and illustrated by Clayton Gauthier, is a story of a mother’s love for her children as she teaches them how to survive. The Bear’s Medicine shows the interconnectedness of all things in the world they live in and how each season brings changes and blessings for the bears. Words in English and Dakelh.

 

Relational Constellation, an anthology edited by Elizabeth LaPensée, provides a unique opportunity for audiences to hear from a myriad of American Indian and First Nations voices on the meaning of love. Here readers will find works of graphic literature, including both poetry and fiction, that explore how celestial bodies build and share creative intimacies.

 

Deception on All Accounts by Sara Sue Hoklotubbe is a novel for folks who like their mysteries spiced with some romance. This story follows the character Sadie Walela as she navigates identify, murder, love and her career and faces deception on all accounts. Check out the other books in the Sadie Walela series for more. Find this book at UBC in the library and online.

 

Genocidal Love: A Life After Residential School, by Bevann Fox, is a novel that weaves truth and fiction to examine “A residential school survivor’s complicated path toward healing and love. Genocidal Love delves into the long-term effects of childhood trauma on those who attended residential school and demonstrates the power of story to help in recovery and healing.” This book is currently on order at UBC and X̱wi7x̱wa Library, but is available at Vancouver Public Library.

 

Birdsong, by Julie Flett. When a young girl moves from the country to a small town, she feels lonely and out of place. But soon she meets an elderly woman next door, who shares her love of nature and art. As the seasons change, can the girl navigate the failing health of her new friend? Acclaimed author and artist Julie Flett’s textured images of birds, flowers, art, and landscapes bring vibrancy and warmth to this powerful story, which highlights the fulfillment of intergenerational relationships and shared passions. Words in Cree and English.

 

You Are Enough: Love Poems for the End of the World, Sumac Smokii: A curated selection from hundreds of poems written over two years of a near-daily haiku practice. Sections of selected poems such as ‘recovery,’ ‘courting,’ and ‘ceremony,’ tell a story of what 2016-2018 was like in the life of a two-spirit, transmasculine, Ktunaxa PhD Candidate in [his] late 20s, living in Peterborough Ontario.

 

Zaagi’idiwin: Silent, Unquestionable Act of Love by Leanna Marshall, creates an intersection where viewers meet to understand and explore the essence of relationships, the meaning of connection/disconnection, and the pain of loss. Through the making and documentation of jingle dresses, Marshall explores the deeply personal stories that have shaped her perception of the complexities of her family history in the context of Canadian history. The social inequities, resistance, and sorrow communicated in this body of work serve as a springboard to examine the act of compassion and forgiveness, which ultimately helps to move forward to a new and more affirmative place of being.

November 2020 is the 6th anniversary of Indigenous Disability Awareness Month in B.C. and across Canada. The B.C. Aboriginal Network on Disability Society notes that “Indigenous people in Canada experience a disability rate significantly higher than that of the general population. Indigenous Disability Awareness Month (IDAM) brings awareness of these barriers and issues that Indigenous peoples and their families living with disabilities face every day. More importantly, we celebrate their achievements and recognize the significant and valuable contributions they make to our communities socially, economically, and culturally.”

In relation to Indigenous Disability Awareness Month X̱wi7x̱wa Library hoped to produce a booklist of #ownvoices fiction, non-fiction and scholarly sources related to Indigenous experiences of disability. After searching UBC’s scholarly resources, Twitter, GoodReads, Google, we found a gap in fiction, non-fiction and scholarly writing on this topic.

We’d love to hear from you: what are your recommendations for #ownvoices reading or media about Indigenous experiences of disability? Email us at xwi7xwa.library@ubc.ca!

At UBC, the Crane Library is available to support students with disabilities through the Centre for Accessibility.

 

Researching Disability and Indigeneity

The language used to define and discuss disability, or differing abilities, is often context dependent and especially so in Indigenous communities. Beliefs about wellness and unwellness are different from community to community and often expanded to include the impact of colonization. Research about disability and Indigenous people is limited but is located primarily at the intersection of Disability Studies and Indigenous Studies, although it could encompass other areas of study (e.g.: education, social work, occupational therapy). Please bear in mind that some of the terminology used to do research about disability and Indigeneity may be outdated.

Start your research using the UBC catalogue or Summon. Please visit X̱wi7x̱wa Library’s First Nations and Indigenous Studies research guide for more information about doing research. Please email xwi7xwa.library@ubc.ca for additional research support.

Useful keywords for searching UBC Summon and databases might include:

Combine keywords related to Indigenous identity with keywords about your topic. For example: Indigenous AND disability

  • Indigenous
  • Aboriginal
  • race
  • disability / disabilities
  • accessibility
  • ableism
  • wellness
  • Terminology specific to different abilities (deaf, deafened, Sign Language, Indigenous Sign Language, etc.)
  • Terminology specific to Indigenous communities (Cree, Métis, Inuit, etc.)

See X̱wi7x̱wa Library’s “First Nations and Indigenous Studies” guide for additional information about searching using keywords and finding Indigenous perspectives.

Some useful subject heading for searching UBC Summon might include:

(Native people with disabilities)

(“Aboriginal Canadians” AND Disabilities)

(“Disabled people” AND “Native American studies”)

Useful journals and other e-resources might include:

Disability & Society

Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies

Native Health Database

iPortal

Routledge Handbooks Online

Core Indigenous Studies journals

Indigenous health databases and statistics

 

Fiction and Non-Fiction

Below, you’ll find some adult and children’s books written by self-identified Indigenous authors with disabilities, Indigenous literature with differently abled characters, and books on the topic of disability. Unless otherwise noted, all books listed are available at a UBC Library for currently registered students, faculty and staff. For community borrowers, please check for these books at your local public library. If your library does not carry a book that you want, you can often request the library purchase it.

Adult Books & Media

Heart Berries: a memoir by Theresa Marie Mailhot: In this memoir, Mailhot chronicles her experience living with chronic mental illness.

“Seed Children” by Mari Kurisato in Love After the End. Love After the End is a new two-spirit, Indigiqueer science fiction/fantasy anthology, currently available as an ebook with the physical book on order at Vancouver Public Library.

Aboriginal Sign Languages of the Americas and Australia edited by D. Jean Umiker-Sebeok and Thomas Sebeok:

Indian Sign Language by William Tomkins: An unabridged and corrected re-publication of the 1931 fifth edition of the work originally published by the author in San Diego, California under the title Universal Indian Sign Language of the Plains Indians of North America.

My Sister by Thirza Cuthand and Danielle Ratslaff (streaming media): Two thoughtful young friends openly discuss their relationship with their sisters, both of whom have intellectual disabilities.

You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me by Sherman Alexie: In this 2017 memoir, the author recounts his childhood hydrocephaly, alcoholism and bipolar disorder.

All the Weight of Our Dreams: On Living Racialized Autism: “Delve into poetry, essays, short fiction, photography, paintings, and drawings in the first-ever anthology entirely by autistic people of color, featuring 61 writers and artists from seven countries. The work here represents the lives, politics, and artistic expressions of Black, Brown, Latinx, Indigenous, Mixed-Race, and other racialized and people of color from many autistic communities, often speaking out sharply on issues of marginality, intersectionality, and liberation.” Available at Vancouver Public Library.

My only daughter : Karina Beth-Ann Wolfe / producer/director, Grace Smith: “Carole Wolfe, a deaf Indigenous woman in Saskatoon, bravely shares the story of her daughter’s disappearance in 2010. Told in American Sign Language.”

Children’s Books

Native Athletes in Action! By Vincent Schilling (for middle grade ages): In Chapter 3, readers meet Cheri Becerra-Madsen (Omaha) a wheelchair racing Olympian and world record holder who lost use of her legs at age 3.

Tribal Journey by Gary Robinson (for middle grade ages): “Sixteen-year-old Jason is left with a paralyzed leg after a car accident and it is only after becoming involved with his Duwamish mother’s tribe and learning to “pull” a canoe that he begins to see himself as more than a boy in a wheelchair.”

Spirit Bear and Children Make History (for elementary grade ages): “Hello! My name is Sus Zul in the Carrier language. In English, people call me Spirit Bear. I am a proud member of the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council. I am on my way to Ottawa, Ontario, to witness a very important human rights case. Would you join me on this journey?” When Spirit Bear’s mom tells him about an important human rights case happening in Ottawa, Ontario, he makes the LONG trip (by train, his favourite way to travel) to go and watch, and to stand up for First Nations kids. And he isn’t the only one! Lots of children come too — to listen, and to show they care. Spirit Bear knows that children can change the world because he’s there to see it happen. This is the story of how kids — kids just like you — made a difference … with a bit of help from some bears and other animals along the way!”

Between the late 1800s and 1996, more than 150, 000 First Nations, Métis and Inuit children attended Indian Residential Schools. Orange Shirt Day, September 30th, was inspired by the story of Survivor Phyllis Webstad and honours the experiences of all children impacted by the Residential Schools.

On September 30th join X̱wi7x̱wa Library in the conversation about Orange Shirt Day by reading a book from our curated children’s book list about residential schools. Below are 5 additional children’s books related to Orange Shirt Day and Residential Schools.

See X̱wi7x̱wa Library’s “Indian Residential School System in Canada” research guide for more resources and research advice. Please email xwi7xwa.library@ubc.ca for additional research help or questions about borrowing material from the Library.

The Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre (IRSHDC) at UBC will host several Orange Shirt Day events and workshops this year, starting on September 22 with a talk from Phyllis Webstad, author of “The Orange Shirt Story.” To learn more about events and the inspiration for Orange Shirt Day, visit the IRSHDC’s website.

 

The Orange Shirt Story by Phyllis Webstad.

“The Orange Shirt Story” is based on Phyllis Webstad’s personal experience attending residential school. For her first day at residential school, Phyllis wore a bright orange shirt given to her by her grandmother. When she arrived at the school, teachers immediately took her orange shirt and Phyllis never saw the orange shirt again. Since then, the colour orange has always reminded Phyllis of her traumatic experience at residential school and her orange shirt has become a symbol for honouring the legacies of children who attended Indian Residential Schools.

This title includes a teacher’s lesson plan and additional teaching resources. The Orange Shirt Story is also available in French and Shuswap.

“Spirit Bear: Fishing for Knowledge, Catching Dreams” with words by Cindy Blackstock and illustrations by Amanda Strong

Spirit Bear is off on another adventure! Follow him as he learns about traditional knowledge and Residential Schools from his Uncle Huckleberry and his friend, Lak’insxw, before heading to Algonquin territory, where children teach him about Shannen’s Dream. Spirit Bear and his new friends won’t stop until Shannen’s Dream of “safe and comfy schools” comes true for every First Nations student.”

“Goodbye Buffalo Bay” by Larry Loyie with Constance Brissenden

“The sequel to the award-winning book As Long as the Rivers Flow and the award-finalist When the Spirits Dance , Goodbye Buffalo Bay is set during the author’s teenaged years. In his last year in residential school, Lawrence learns the power of friendship and finds the courage to stand up for his beliefs. He returns home to find the traditional First Nations life he loved is over. He feels like a stranger to his family until his grandfather’s gentle guidance helps him find his way. Goodbye Buffalo Bay explores the themes of self-discovery, the importance of friendship, the difference between anger and assertiveness and the realization of youthful dreams.”

“The Journey Forward: A Novella on Reconciliation” by Richard Van Camp and Monique Gray Smith / readers’ guide by Alison Gear 

“From award-winning authors Richard Van Camp and Monique Gray Smith come two honest and memorable middle-grade novellas on residential schools and reconciliation. The novellas will be bound together in a ‘flip-book’ format, which offers the intended audiences two important perspectives in one package. This stunning and unique book will feature two covers: Lucy & Lola will include a cover and spot illustrations by renowned artist Julie Flett. When We Play Our Drums, They Sing! will feature cover photographs by Tessa MacIntosh.” For ages 9-13.

 

“I Lost my Talk” words by Rita Joe and art by Pauline Young

“One of Rita Joe’s most influential poems, “I Lost My Talk” tells the revered Mi’kmaw Elder’s childhood story of losing her language while a resident of the residential school in Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia. An often quoted piece in this era of truth and reconciliation, Joe’s powerful words explore and celebrate the survival of Mi’kmaw culture and language despite its attempted eradication. A companion book to the simultaneously published I’m Finding My Talk by Rebecca Thomas, I Lost My Talk is a necessary reminder of a dark chapter in Canada’s history, a powerful reading experience, and an effective teaching tool for young readers of all cultures and backgrounds. Includes a biography of Rita Joe and striking colour illustrations by Mi’kmaw artist Pauline Young.”

Starting September 15 2020, UBC Library is eliminating daily overdue fines on books, journals and audio-visual (AV) materials for all library users. Here are some other important points about the Library’s update on overdue fines:

  • Overdue fines for Course Reserve loans, Interlibrary loans and electronics will still apply when physical borrowing resumes.
  • Fines for overdue recalled items will remain in effect. Fines on a recalled item will accumulate once the item becomes overdue.
  • For overdue items that are not listed as Course Reserves and are not recalled, no overdue fines will accumulate for 28 days. Once an item is 28 days overdue, it will be deemed lost and a lost charge notice will be sent. If the item is returned, the lost charge will be dropped.

See UBC Library’s full announcement for complete information about changes to overdue fines. Please contact UBC Library Borrower Services or X̱wi7x̱wa Library Borrower Services with any questions or concerns about borrowing material or overdue fines.

Interested in learning more about library fine reduction and abolition? Check out these news articles:

Doing research about library overdue fines policies? Check out some of these selected resources to get started, but book a reference appointment for additional research help:

  • Ajayi, N. A., & Okunlola, A. A. (2005). Students’ perception of fine increases for overdue library books in an academic library. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 37(4), 187-193. doi:10.1177/0961000605057850
  • Crist, B., & DePriest, M. (2018). Removing barriers to access: Eliminating fines and fees for a win-win for your library and teens: Discover approaches to eliminating fines and fees for youth in your library. Young Adult Library Services, 17(1), 14.
  • Davies, R., & Sen, B. (2014). Overdue books at Leeds University Library. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 46(3), 226-242. doi:10.1177/0961000613486826
  • Helms, C. (2019). Eliminating overdue fines for undergraduates: A six-year review. Journal of Access Services, 16(4), 173-189. doi:10.1080/15367967.2019.1668793

Relationship to the land and traditional territory is often intertwined with government, activism, storytelling, spirituality, art, ceremony, traditional knowledge and other Indigenous cultural expressions. Here are 15 streaming videos that explore the connections between land, place and Indigeneity. Watch these streaming videos any time on McIntyre Media through UBC Library’s catalogue.

Visit X̱wi7x̱wa Library’s Indigenous Land Based Activism research guide for more information, too!

Source: Museum of Vancouver (https://museumofvancouver.ca/csnam-the-city-before-the-city)

cə̓snaʔəm, the city before the city: Directed by Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers, cə̓snaʔəm, the city before the city commemorates five years since the resolution of a dramatic and compelling moment in the history of this place now known as Metro Vancouver. In late 2011, the Musqueam First Nation learned that a 108-unit condo development was being planned at one of their ancestral village sites without prior consultation with the nation. Not long after discovering the news of the planned condo development, Musqueam learned that ancestral remains were unearthed during an archeological “investigation” prior to development.

Source: IMBd (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1679175/)

Cry Rock: The wild beauty of the Bella Coola Valley blends with vivid watercolor animation illuminating the role of the Nuxalk oral tradition and the intersection of story, place and culture. In English and Nuxalk.

Source: Colonization Road website (https://www.colonizationroad.com)

Colonization Road: Since Europeans arrived on these shores, roads have been built to bring settlers across the country, connect them with resources to create industry and ultimately to establish a nation. Many of these interconnecting networks are called Colonization Roads. For Indigenous peoples, these roads embody a powerful and ironic reality; colonization is still so powerful, we name our roads after it. Join Anishinaabe comedian, Ryan McMahon as he travels across Ontario learning about Colonization Roads, the ways in which they have dispossessed Indigenous people of land and access to traditional territories while creating space for settlers in the colonial experiment that has become Canada.

Dehcho Ndehe Gha Nadaotsethe “Fighting for Our Land”: Dehcho Ndehe Gha Nadaotsethe “Fighting for Our Land” tells the history of the land, people and culture of Denendeh from pre-contact up to the present. In the video, our history is spoken by many different voices from all of the communities in the Dehcho, This community based video was initiated by the Dehcho First Nations and produced and directed by Rebecca Garrett. The goal of the project was to inform and educate, and to promote unity within Dehcho First Nations communities.

Estuary: Estuary is a compositional work by Tyler Hagan (Métis) shot on super 16mm that takes the viewer into a pensive cinematic state where they are allowed to view a familiar environment – a river landscape – in a completely new way. Shot at the mouth of the Fraser River, in Steveston, B.C., Canada.

Source: Fractured Land website (http://www.fracturedland.com/press.html)

Fractured Land: With some of the world’s largest fracking operations on his territory, a young Indigenous leader and lawyer confronts the fractures within his community and himself as he struggles to reconcile traditional teachings with the law to protect the land.

How A People Live: Documentary of the Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw Nation, which the Canadian government forcibly relocated from its traditional territories on the coast of British Columbia in 1964.

In the Similkameen: In the Similkameen is a short experimental film which interrogates ideas of landscape and place by placing the viewer in the position to engage with the experience of being. Set on the Lower Similkameen Indian Reserve lands in the Southern Okanagan, the central conflict of the work subtly exists between the ‘natural’ landscape and ‘man-made’ incursions–namely a turn of the 20th Century missionary chapel, St. Ann’s. While the church and its relationship to its surroundings represent the larger history of conflict between the smelqmix people of the syilx (Okanagan) nation and Canadian settlers, In the Similkameen focuses on the visceral impact that it has as a part of the landscape. As Upper Similkameen Elder Ramona Allison related to me what her father had told her as a child, “We used to pray under the trees. Then the white man came, cut ’em all down, and now we pray in the trees.” This perspective reminds us that the dichotomy of ‘natural’ and ‘man-made’ is a construct of western thought, and encourages us to think, and experience our world as whole–as an ecosystem. In the Similkameen is the expression of attempting to embody such a perspective. It is an invitation to look, to listen, and to reflect.

‘Namegan’s om dłu’wans awinagwisex = We are one with the land: Namgis Nation has traditionally lived in the ‘Namgis Valley on the shores of Gwa”ni River, Vancouver Island. In 1997 ‘Namgis Nation have signed a statement of intent to negotiate a modern-day treaty with the federal and provincial governments. This process will provide them with a platform to gain access and control over their land and resources to become a self governing Nation. This film highlights their journey to their land in the summer of 2009.

The Oldest Tree In The World: Interweaving Leanne Simpson’s poetics, song, and stories of the land, while honouring the oldest maple tree in this region of Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg Territory, “The Oldest Tree in the World” is a love song to the oldest sugar maple in the region, living just outside of Nogojiwanong (Peterborough) in Mark S. Burnham Provincial Park. This grandmother tree, one of our oldest living relations, has lived through over 500 years of history.

On The Line: The Northern Gateway Pipeline Project is a proposal by Calgary’s Enbridge Corporation to construct a 1,170 km oil pipeline from Bruderheim, Alberta to Kitimat, B.C. The pipeline would cross 773 watercourses and bring supertankers to B.C.’s pristine north coast for the first time ever in order to deliver tar sands bitumen to Asian markets. In the summer of 2010, filmaker Frank Wolf and his friend Todd McGowan biked, hiked, rafted and kayaked the GPS track of the pipeline in order to uncover the truth about the proposal. Through the voices of people they meet along the way, their rough and tumble journey reveals the severe risk and consequences associated with this 5.5 billion dollar mega-project

St’at’imchalh: Spirit of the People: The caretakers of the land! Rich with cultural and scenic pictures this beautiful film explores the strength and history of First Nations and how they have managed the land, for thousands of years, as their “garden”. Thru personal interviews and precious archival footage we are delighted to meet the keepers of the garden.

The Fast: The Fast follows Doreen Manuel into the Rocky Mountains for a 4-day no food or water fasting ceremony in search of storyteller power. Doreen has worked for over 20-years to develop the story about her father George Manuel, an Indigenous leader whose leadership and vision could inspire this generation to take Indigenous people into the Fourth World. The stakes are high, the story needs to be told, but Doreen is stuck and unable to tell the story. Listening to the voices of her ancestors, Doreen is guided to the same sacred site where her father participated in ceremony, so that she may start at the beginning. Out of this journey, she discovers the answer is simple but the path is difficult and she lays the spiritual groundwork for her next journey as a filmmaker. – from runninwolf.ca

This Place Is Part Of Our Spirit: Elders and Knowledge keepers share their views on current Archaeology practices. Curve Lake First Nation in Central Ontario are the stewards of the Peterborough Petroglyphs which has been a special spiritual place since time immemorial.

Tu Suhudinh: It’s 2008. Water is the most precious commodity on Earth. A powerful corporation controls most of the resources and is trying to control more. Directed by Helen Haig-Brown.

Have you streamed a documentary or film through UBC Library’s McIntyre Media subscription before? There are almost 200 videos that are Indigenous focused or produced on a variety of topics like art, language, education, and land use issues. Plus more! Below, we’ve rounded up 5 titles that are about two-spirit and LGBTQIA+ issues or created by two-spirit and LGBTQIA+ directors.

Visit X̱wi7x̱wa Library’s “Two-Spirit and Indigenous Queer Studies” research guide for more information on this subject.

 

Two Soft Things, Two Hard Things documents a small group in Nunavut, Canada preparing for a seminal LGBT Pride celebration in the Arctic. The film explores how colonization and religion have shamed and erased traditional Inuit beliefs about sexuality and family structure and how, 60 years later, a new generation of Inuit are actively “unshaming” their past.

Michael Keshane (left) and Jack Saddleback (right), both featured in “Sex Spirit Strength.”

Sex Spirit Strength follows Michael and Jack, two young Indigenous men, as they shed the stigma and shame associated with their sexual health and gender identity. Michael, a former addict who lived a high-risk lifestyle that left him with permanent scars, hopes his activism work will discourage other young people from going down the same path. Jack, a transgender gay man, is committed to bringing pride back to two-spirit identity through education and activism. With a compassionate lens, Sex Spirit Strength takes a candid look at the challenges and triumphs of these two brave young men as they reconcile their past, embrace their identities, and strive to make a positive difference in their communities.” –APTN Website.

Still image from “Reclamation.”

Reclamation” is a documentary-style imagining of a post-dystopic future in Canada after massive climate change, wars, pollution, and the after effects of the large scale colonial project which has now destroyed the land. When Indigenous people are left behind after a massive exodus by primarily privileged white settlers who have moved to Mars, the original inhabitants of this land cope by trying to restore and rehabilitate the beautiful planet they belong to. Starring Lacey Hill, Cherish Violet Blood, and Elwood Jimmy, these three 2 Spirit people describe the reclamation projects they are a part of including community gardens, farms of abandoned cows, The Baby Club daycare, and educational projects. Tinged with bitterness at colonization, these hopeful people are also wary of the possibility of the colonizers returning after all is cleaned up”. — vtape website

Thirza Cuthand.

In My Sister, two thoughtful young friends openly discuss their relationship with their sisters, both of whom are mentally challenged. A film by Thirza Cuthand. X̱wi7x̱wa Library also streams several other films by Thirza Cuthand through McIntyre Media. Check out X̱wi7x̱wa Library’s list of streaming media to find more.

Promotional image for “Casualties of Modernity.”

In Casualties of Modernity celebrity artist and humanitarian Miss Chief Eagle Testickle (Kent Monkman) tours a hospital specializing in the treatment of conditions afflicting Modern and Contemporary Art. Led by the Doctor of Fine Arts (Quinton Neufeldt), and closely supervised by the no-nonsense head Nurse (Gillian Edwards), Miss Chief encounters romance, tragedy and triumph. X̱wi7x̱wa Library also streams several other films by Kent Monkman through McIntyre Media. Check out X̱wi7x̱wa Library’s list of streaming media to find more.

 

 

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