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We Were Children (2012)

For over 130 years till 1996, more than 100,000 of Canada's First Nations children were legally required to attend government-funded schools run by various Christian faiths. There were 80 ... See full summary »


Tim Wolochatiuk


Jason Sherman

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2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »




Credited cast:
Rene Batson Rene Batson ... Glen Age 8
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Taya Ayotte Bourns ... Student (voice) (as Taya Dawn Ayotte Bourns)
Alice Dano Alice Dano ... Schoolyard Nun
Justin Ducharme Justin Ducharme ... Glen (Age 18)
Darcy Fehr ... Glen's Teacher
Darren Felbel Darren Felbel ... Priest
Rebecca Gibson ... Sister Mary
Kristen Harris ... Lebret Nun
Ashley Hirt ... Nurse
Robert Kostyra ... Black Robe Priest
Daina Leitold ... Nun
John B. Lowe ... Deputy Minister
Ross McMillan Ross McMillan ... Father X
Curtis Moore Curtis Moore ... Father X
Jacqueline Rano Jacqueline Rano ... Schoolyard Nun


For over 130 years till 1996, more than 100,000 of Canada's First Nations children were legally required to attend government-funded schools run by various Christian faiths. There were 80 of these 'residential schools' across the country. Most children were sent to faraway schools that separated them from their families and traditional land. These children endured brutality, physical hardship, mental degradation, and the complete erasure of their culture. The schools were part of a wider program of assimilation designed to integrate the native population into 'Canadian society.' These schools were established with the express purpose 'To kill the Indian in the child.' Told through their own voices, 'We Were Children' is the shocking true story of two such children: Glen Anaquod and Lyna Hart. Written by EV Staff

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English | French | Cree

Release Date:

3 March 2013 (USA) See more »


Box Office


$16,500,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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User Reviews

Authentic and Heart-breaking
20 August 2014 | by erin-pavlicekSee all my reviews

I first viewed this movie at Haskell Indian Nations University during an event titled, A Time of Healing and Restoration, in November 2013. I have personally worked with the Native American people for nearly 20 years, and the historical accounts of the atrocities they endured were not new to me. Therefore, I anticipated the film's content with familiarity. However, this movie was new in that it so authentically retold the very real stories of two survivors of the atrocities so brutally committed. I found myself sobbing, unable to stop. I have long loved the Native American people with all my heart. To see this movie so candidly display these brutalities broke me all over again.

I firmly believe that every individual needs to see this film, especially lay people who are perhaps uneducated regarding Native American history, or who have an unresolved and stereotypical prejudice against them. What most common people do not understand is that these acts were not exclusive to Canada. The United States is equally guilty as well. This film, I believe, needs to be viewed with adult supervision. But nevertheless, it needs to be seen by anyone willing to acknowledge and digest what has happened. And by all means, above all, it should be shown in every educational institution.

The movie should evoke a response other than personal grief. It should awaken compassion and move us toward change: a place of acknowledgment, repentance, and restoration with the host people of this land (in both Canada and the US).

Again, this film was shown at Haskell Indian Nations University in November 2013, and the response was overwhelming by Natives and non- natives alike. Many Native American students did not realize what happened to their parents and grandparents because few speak of it for the grief they endure, and the educational system has either watered it down, omitted it, or re-written it. With this being said, the film was shocking evidence to their history, which opened many young eyes and hearts. This film even served as a beneficial tool to reach our state government, in which an official proclamation was made by our Governor on behalf of the Native American people - one which had never before been decreed.

I fully support the film and its endeavors. The acting was superb; the storyline gripping and accurate; the filming professional and artistic. The testimonies are real and untarnished. It's time they be heard. May God bless it to the fullest extent of its reach.

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