Filmmaking is an art form that’s fairly new to indigenous creatives. It seems as if only within the past few decades have Native producers, directors, and writers emerged as autonomous agents from the stereotypical noble savages and Wild West Indians of the Hollywood film industry. Through its singular and long-standing commitment to Aboriginal filmmaking, the National Film Board has been instrumental in providing Canadians a rich cultural resource and legacy: a comprehensive body of films inviting us all to share in the Aboriginal experience. Throughout the course of a number of NFB initiatives, the Aboriginal Voice has evolved.
Below is the first Inuktitut language feature but also the most important film in Canadian history, bringing epic filmmaking to a Northern legend. It won Official Selection at the 2001 Cannes International Film Festival and remains the highest grossing indigenous film in Canadian history.
Canada’s screen industry has yet to fully leverage one of the richest cultural resources this country has to offer — the stories of Aboriginal people. The stories and perspectives of Aboriginal people are vibrant, distinct and uniquely Canadian. The proliferation of Aboriginal stories and perspectives has a vital outcome — it enables Canada to carve out a new legacy that celebrates and includes Indigenous stories and perspectives. Our nation’s colonial history has created social and economic challenges unique to Aboriginal peoples and has impacted cultural expression. Fostering Aboriginal stories and perspectives on screen enables Canada to forge a new era of inclusion and recognition of the Aboriginal storytellers who shape our cultural landscape and re-elect the diversity of our nation.