Jordan River Anderson, The Messenger
Queens University, Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts, Film Screening Room
390 King St W, Kingston, Ontario,
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.
The very timely Jordan River Anderson, The Messenger completes, on an optimistic note, the film cycle devoted to the rights of Indigenous children and peoples that began with The People of the Kattawapiskak River.