Module 4- Post 4: “Is The Crown at War With Us?” : Paul Waterlander

Nobody surpasses Canadian Aboriginal (Abenaki) filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin when it comes to spotlighting political issues that impact Canada’s Aboriginal population.

Is the Crown at War With Us?  is yet another example of the power technology provides when it comes to creating a political voice to those normally oppressed.

This film centres around the on-going battle of the Miq’mac Nation’s Aboriginal right to fish for lobster in New Brunswick.

Again, Obomsawin uses her access as an Aboriginal filmmaker to go into the Miq’mac communities and interview the people directly.  You see and hear the emotion and the plea by the Miq’mac on how they just want to have the opportunity to carry on their traditions, eat a healthier diet based on nature’s bounty, and perhaps make a little bit of extra cash by selling a few lobsters every year.

It is shocking to hear that the Miq’mac have a Canadian Supreme Court ruling that allows them the right to make a “modest living” fishing for lobster, yet the Canadian government continues to arrest the Miq’mac who are practicing their Aboriginal right to hunt and fish.  Tempers flare as the non-Aboriginal fishermen in the area protest and cut the ropes off of Miq’mac lobster traps as they blame the Miq’mac for getting special privileges they do not get in the lobster fishing season.

This video would be an excellent choice to show in a classroom.  Very powerful and eye-opening.  Obomsawin is a master in story-telling, and investigates the history and the heart of the issue which the mainstream media often ignore.

You can watch the entire film for free here (stream only, not downloadable unless you want to pay.)

https://www.nfb.ca/film/is_the_crown_at_war_with_us/

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