Module 2: Native Culture through Film

I have started to focus my research on Native media. My intention for the final project is to look at the development of Native film. I must admit that it is a broad area to investigate but with the reading this week and discussions we have had on cultural rights I think I may focus further by looking at how Native film is promoting and provide insight into Native culture (At least I think this may be how I am going to focus). The sources that I found for this post are as follows:

  1. Wab Kinew On Strombo: Full Interview

The interview describes the premise of the show 8th Fire.  Wab Kinew discusses briefly his upbringing and his role as a “Native Ambassdor” for the CBC. What I found most interesting and informative was Kinew provides a clear explanation of language when referring to Aboriginal groups. The interview highlights his concerns that non-Natives have a limited understanding of Native culture and his show 8th Fire is helping to clarify and provide understanding; it provides information and insight from an Aboriginal perspective. I’ve included a link to an excerpt from 8th Fire.

  1. Aboriginal Producers in Canada: Aboriginal TV and Film News & Opinions

This is a blog provides a venue “where ideas, concern, news and opinions” are shared regarding Aboriginal film. The blog only has a few posts but the information and insights are helpful in gaining some understanding of Aboriginal film. It provides names of directors as well as films and other productions that are Aboriginal. The last post is dated October 5th, 2014 and I’m not sure if there will be more but it did provide some areas for me too look at further with respect to Aboriginal film.

  1. Gift from the Elders – documentary

The website houses a documentary and provides information about the making of the documentary. In watching the documentary, many of the issues that have come up in our course discussions are discussed here as well. The video is available to watch on the website but it also outlines issues and research that concern the Anishinaabe people the film is about. What I really like about the documentary site was it provided a bio for the filmmakers and showed their connection to the people the documentary is about. For me, it provides insight into a culture that I have a limited understanding of and helps to clarify what I know and what I believe I know.

  1. Dragon Fly Consulting Services Canada

The site provides resources to help build understanding and awareness about aboriginal history, perspectives, and issues. The site has a wealth of resources that can be used to help teach Aboriginal perspective. The site does work with the Ontario curriculum to that is helpful for me but should be double checked if the resources are being used out of province. What I found interesting and helpful about this site is the lesson that have been created for Canadian Aboriginal Documentary Films. Although you need to get access to the films yourself. The PDFs provide pre, during and post watching activities. There are rubrics also for extended activities. I think that it is a good place to start if you want to integrate Aboriginal film into the classroom. The section I looked at most closely was “Lesson Plans – Native Studies & Documentary Films” All the films are connected with Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Film Festival.

  1. National Film Board

I really like to use the National Film board in class because it uses Canadian films and often you can stream them online. There are a number of Aboriginal films available on the NFB and many are created by Aboriginal people. Each film provides a brief description as well as information about the filmmakers. Although many of the films are available for anyone to watch, however, there are some that can only be viewed through Canvas program – basically you have to buy a membership to view the films online or you can purchase the DVDs to use in class. For some of the Canvas films there are lesson plans that go with the films. My link takes you right to the subject: Aboriginal Peoples in Canada I have not watched all the films but there is quite a diverse collection to go through.

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