The People of the Kattawapiskak River

The People of the Kattawapiskak River is a 2012 documentary film by Alanis Obomsawin exploring conditions inside the Attawapiskat First Nation, which in October 2011 declared a state of emergency due to health and safety concerns over a lack of housing and infrastructure, and remained in the public spotlight during the Idle No More protests.[1]

The People of the Kattawapiskak River
Directed byAlanis Obomsawin
Distributed byNational Film Board of Canada
Release date
LanguagesEnglish, Cree

Obomsawin was present in the community in 2011, working on another film for the National Film Board of Canada, Hi-Ho Mistahey!, when the housing issue came to national attention.[2] The film follows the crisis up to the Federal Court of Canada decision in August 2012 that ruled the appointment of a third-party manager to fix the housing crisis was unjustified.[3] In addition to filming conditions in the community and interviewing residents, Obomsawin recounts the history of the village, which dates back to 1850 when Catholic missionaries built a chapel on the land.[4][5]

Obomsawin has stated that she uses the name "Kattawapiskak" in place of Attawapiskat in the film and its title because she believes it to be the community's correct name.[3]

Release edit

Obomsawin screens her films first in the local community, a practice that she continued with The People of the Kattawapiskak River.[3]

The film's official premiere took place on the opening night of the 13th imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival in Toronto, with Obomsawin, Chief Theresa Spence, Member of Parliament Charlie Angus, and Attawapiskat community members in attendance.[5][6][7]

It subsequently screened on November 11, 2012, as part of the Rencontres internationales du documentaire de Montréal.[4] From January 11 to 18, 2013, the National Film Board streamed the film for free on its website.[8]

On March 4, 2014, the film received the Donald Brittain Award for best social/political documentary program at the 2nd Canadian Screen Awards.[9]

References edit

  1. ^ Laurence, Jean-Christophe (16 November 2012). "The People of the Kattawapiskak River : Attawapiskat vue de l'intérieur". La Presse (in French). Montreal. Retrieved 14 January 2013.
  2. ^ Adams, James (1 November 2013). "Hi-Ho Mistahey!: Earnest doc on native education has heart in the right place". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 9 November 2013.
  3. ^ a b c Wyatt, Nelson (15 November 2012). "One year later, film chronicles housing crisis on Attawapiskat reserve". Canadian Press. Retrieved 1 February 2013.
  4. ^ a b Dunlevy, T'cha (9 November 2012). "The People of the Kattawapiskak River examines a community on the edge". Montreal Gazette. Postmedia Network Inc. Archived from the original on 13 November 2012. Retrieved 9 November 2012.
  5. ^ a b Nahwegahbow, Barb. "Meet "The People of the Kattawapiskak River"". Windspeaker. Aboriginal Multi-Media Society. Retrieved 14 January 2013.
  6. ^ Vlessing, Etan (19 September 2012). "Alanis Obomsawin doc to open ImagineNATIVE film festival". Playback. Brunico Communications. Retrieved 14 January 2013.
  7. ^ "ImagineNATIVE opens with Alanis Obomsawin's distinctive lens". CBC News. 18 October 2012. Retrieved 14 January 2013.
  8. ^ Dunlevy, T'cha (11 January 2013). "NFB streams Alanis Obomsawin's The People of the Kattawapiskak River for free". Montreal Gazette. Retrieved 14 January 2013.
  9. ^ "CBC wins at Canadian Screen Awards". CBC News. 4 March 2014. Retrieved 7 March 2014.

External links edit