Jordan River Anderson, The Messenger
Little Saskatchewan School Gym
., Gypsumville, Manitoba,
2019 | 66 min
In her latest film, celebrated Abenaki director Alanis Obomsawin tells the story of Jordan River Anderson, and how as a result of his short life, thousands of Indigenous children today receive the same standard of social, health and education services as the rest of the Canadian population.
Because of Jordan’s Indian status, a dispute arose between the governments of Canada and Manitoba over who was responsible for his care, and Jordan did not receive the appropriate home-based assistance that would have allowed him to end his life in his own community.
Jordan’s Principle was passed into law by the House of Commons, and the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal issued a ruling guaranteeing the same standard of service, yet many Indigenous children were still denied access. It took sustained commitment and the issuance of several mandatory orders for justice to be done.