People of the Kattawapiskak River; People of the Kattawapiskak River: Six Months Later
Oscar Lathlin Collegiate, Gymnasium
., The Pas, Manitoba,
2012 | 50 min
The people of the Attawapiskat First Nation, a Cree community in northern Ontario, were thrust into the national spotlight in 2012 when the impoverished living conditions on their reserve became an issue of national debate. With The People of the Kattawapiskak River, Abenaki director Alanis Obomsawin quietly attends as community members tell their own story, shedding light on a history of dispossession and official indifference. “Obomsawin’s main objective is to make us see the people of Attawapiskat differently,” said Robert Everett-Green in The Globe & Mail. “The emphasis, ultimately, is not so much on looking as on listening—the first stage in changing the conversation, or in making one possible.” Winner of the 2013 Donald Brittain Award for Best Social/Political Documentary, the film is part of a cycle of films that Obomsawin has made on children’s welfare and rights.
2012 | 6 min
Six months following the events of her documentary The People of the Kattawapiskak River, Alanis Obomsawin returns to the Cree community of Attawapiskat in northern Ontario, whose severe housing crisis in 2011 made international headlines. While the public outcry resulted in some short-term relief for the most in need, Obomsawin reveals that the crisis persists in the isolated First Nation. Relief homes sent to the community are not equipped to deal with the harsh winter, as overcrowding and homelessness remain daily realities. Despite their ordeals, the residents of Attawapiskat remain strong, united in love and a belief that a better future must be achieved.
Storytellers’ Film Festival. More information here.