In my research on indigenous film, I stumbled upon this intriguing certificate offered by the University of Fraser Valley. The three-course certificate aims to provide learners with a deeper understanding of the land claims process. In the first course, students study the practical challenges of creating maps to support land claims. In the second course, students study how film, other forms of representational media, and direct action can bring attention to land claims issues. In the third course, students embed themselves in Stó:lõ culture to study the Stó:lõ Nation’s legal, political, and economic land struggles.
We Shall Remain is a PBS series of documentaries that “establishes Native history as an essential part of American history.” This is part of the larger PBS series American Experience. Each documentary is produced by a different filmmaker, some of whom are indigenous. The documentary website includes an interesting project whereby First Nations filmmakers (amateur or professional) are invited to share short films. Select films are published on PBS’ website. The short films I did watch were excellent.
This is a large study by ImagineNative Film and Media Arts Festival that examines Aboriginal film production in Canada. This study makes the case that First Nations’ stories represent a huge untapped resource in Canada. Canada’s film industry has not yet fully explored the stories of indigenous peoples. Not only are these stories important to our collective identity as Canadians, but they also enormous commercial potential.
This site provides the history of Aboriginal Voice, which is a program that saw Aboriginal films be created by Aboriginal people. The rationale behind the program is summed up in a 1972 letter:
“There was a strong feeling among the filmmakers at the NFB that the Board had been making too many films “about” the Indian, all from the white man’s viewpoint. What would be the difference if Indians started making films themselves?” [Letter from George Stoney, executive producer, Challenge for Change, January 3, 1972]
The site includes six NFB films made by First Nations peoples. The films explore contemporary social and political issues from across Canada, including a film about Haisla people reclaiming a stolen artefact and a film documenting the confrontation between First Nations fishermen and the federal government in Burnt Church, New Brunswick.
Sundance was initially founded by American filmmaker Robert Redford, who wanted to ensure that indigenous filmmakers were given voice at the festival. Since 1981, the Sundance institute has supported 300 indigenous artists through grants, mentorships, and the platform of the film festival. This page contains a six minute video on the topic of the Sundance Institute’s Native American and Indigenous Film Program with interview clips of many indigenous filmmakers. Filmmaker Ty Sanga remarks “film has become that new evolution to not only express who we are but also preserve our culture.
Website: Imagine Native
Imagine Native is a global film and media festival in Toronto. This year’s festival is set to run from next Wednesday through Sunday (October 14-18). Imagine Native features indigenous works from many different countries. In addition to screening films, exhibiting works of art, and hosting panel discussions, the festival emphasizes connecting indigenous artists to industry professionals. The website includes film descriptions and schedules, artist profiles, as well as resources for artists, such as how to apply for film grants. The site also includes links to other indigenous film festivals in Canada and across the globe.