Red Crow Mi'kmaq reservation, 1976: By government decree, every Indian child under the age of 16 must attend residential school. In the kingdom of the Crow, that means imprisonment at St. Dymphna's. That means being at the mercy of "Popper", the sadistic Indian agent who runs the school.
Similar to her 2012 documentary, The People of the Kattawapiskak River, which detailed the housing crisis of the Awattapiskak First Nation's people, Alanis Obomsawin's Hi-Ho Mistahey. ... See full summary »
Continuing to take the pulse of First Peoples in Canada, Obomsawin takes us home-to her Abenaki community of Odanak, Quebec. She skilfully weaves the richly textured history of her formerly... See full summary »
This feature documentary profiles a key element of the 1990 Oka crisis in which the Mohawk communities of Kahnawake and Kanehsatake stood against the Canadian military and Canadian citizens... See full summary »
A feature documentary offering a gripping portrait of the Esgenoopetitj Mi'gmaq First Nation during the summer of 2000 as the Canadian government appears to wage war on the community for ... See full summary »
This documentary profiles Indigenous leaders in their quest for justice as they seek to establish dialogue with the Canadian government. By tracing the history of their ancestors since the ... See full summary »
This film documents the 1990 crisis when Native Americans of the Mohawk Nation blocked access to reserve land which was being appropriated against their will by the White community of Oka, Quebec, Canada. What this film shows is the initial incident and the resulting siege from the Mohawks point of view as an illustration how this is simply a result of resistance to 270 years of European racism pushing them around and leading up to this confrontation.Written by
Kenneth Chisholm <email@example.com>
I started realizing who I am huh. I didn't come here to kill people, you know. I just came here to protect the land. The government's gone too far. We only could take so much.
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It's been almost 20 years since the Oka Crisis happened in the fall of 1990. It was in my opinion one of the most shameful incidents in Canada's last 50 years. The incident took place when native land was taken by the white community to build a golf course. 270 years of repression finally came to a head that year.
The military is eventually called in to stop a native road block. What's most interesting to me is not the repression by the military and police but the fact that everyone is caught up in the repression. The natives are of course repressed the most but the press and French Quebecois are also caught up in the repression when the military starts to control people's freedom of movement.
It's quite startling in these documentaries how quickly things escalate. In a matter of days you're present in a military operation which controls where you go, who you can see, and whether you eat or not. Our so-called guaranteed freedoms are quickly dissolved when the government sees a challenge against its hegemony and power structure. These pockets of resistance are quickly be extinguished before they can spread and state power is questioned elsewhere. The troops on the front lines again don't care and use the ever quotable line "We're just following orders".
The Oka Crisis was a global crisis of course. It's not one which is limited to Canada. The native struggle is one being fought all over the world. The Palestinians in Israel, the aboriginals in Australia, Wounded Knee in the US, the list goes on.
A very good documentary about a dark period in Canada's history. How quickly will we forget it? Thankfully, we have this National Film Board production which has interviews with the main parties as well as lots of footage from the actual incidents in 1990.
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