Indigenous Film Festival

The Senate Committee on Reconciliation hosted the inaugural Indigenous Film Festival from January 30- February 1, 2020. The program for the successful, well-attended event can be found below. 



New Brunswick Premiere of Alanis Obomsawin’s Jordan River Anderson: The Messenger (2019).

The film tells the story of how the life of Jordan River Anderson initiated a battle for the rights of Indigenous children to receive the same standard of social, health, and educational services as the rest of the Canadian population.

Learn more about this film


An evening of short films from Maritime Indigenous Filmmakers:

Natasha Francis
A Prayer for the Lost
Two spirits—a young woman and a child—communicate to one another about the stories of their demise. Confused and lost, they long for the family they left behind.

Kennlin Barlow
An anti-narrative surrounding the events of a dying woman, which is shown slowly through caesura of time.

A non-narrative short film

Gop Bartibogue 
(films to be determined)

Lisa Jodoin
Tracing Blood
When Maria falls asleep while trying to find a connection to her estranged family, a mysterious figure appears to her and leads her on a surreal journey that is full of surprises and unexpected lessons. In this experimental film-made debut, Tracing Blood tells the story of one woman’s search for family and the deep-rooted connectedness that she finds instead.

Anishkutapeu is a short documentary that explores the connection between land and archives in the Innu community of Uashat in Sept-Îles, Quebec. A source of well-being, traditional knowledge, and identity, land and familial territories are an essential part of what it means to be Innu.


Logan Perley
Revitalizing the Wolastoqey language
Like many Indigenous people in his generation, CBC documentary filmmaker Logan Perley is not a fluent speaker of his traditional language. He explores what needs to be done to improve the situation and to keep his language alive.


MasksBaskets; Quill Art; and Drums
Four short films that explore different arts of Wabanaki people across the Maritimes



Four short films by Carr Sappier


  • Wasis: Using found fabrics and objects, this film recreates an imaginative world from the perspective of an unborn child. The variety of shapes, colours and sounds are ambiguously explored as if seeing and hearing them for the first time.

  • Nisuwok Cocahoq (Two Spirited): A coming of age story that follows June, a non-binary teenager who is beginning to express and embrace their gender identity. Besides having to deal with their everyday battle of body dysphoria, June is also struggling to maintain a relationship with a father who has been ignoring their journey.

  • Apotamkin: Short film inspired by stories heard from the Wolastoqiyik elders in Tobique First Nation where director, Carly Sappier was born and raised. Step inside of this world of song and dance as it is influenced by the sea monster (Apotamkin) who captures those who disrespect the waters.

  • Manape Mani: “Manape Mani” translates to Walking Soldier, a name gifted suitably to performing two-spirited artist Madeline Terrbasket (Syilx). This short documentary is an intimate portrait of Madeline’s Okanagan roots and journey into performance.

New Documentary by award-winning Mi’kmaq Filmmaker Cathy Martin

This documentary is on Mi’kmaw women basket makers and their contribution to the traditional art form and economy.

** In addition, Alanis Obomsawin hosted a filmmaking workshop for students in the Student Lounge in Sir James Dunn Hall on Friday January 31 in the afternoon and all day on Saturday, February 1st.