Canada’s sesquicentennial in 2017 is a complicated celebration for Indigenous peoples. 150 years is a limited period in Indigenous history and reflects only the time since the occupation of these territories and the impacts that followed. As REEL CANADA approaches National Canadian Film Day 150 (NCFD 150), we reflect on this history and question our own participation in these celebrations.
REEL CANADA is encouraging all NCFD 150 partners to consider the impact of colonization and embrace this as a collective opportunity to re-envision a Canada that centralizes Indigenous peoples historically, and in our present and future.
The stories of Indigenous peoples are foundational to our definition as a nation.
If you are interested in finding out more about Indigenous cinema, start with this list that we created in order to help our screening partners celebrate one of our richest and most diverse cultural resources by showing films by Indigenous peoples.
REEL CANADA, like many allies, is committed to the practice of ‘acknowledging territory’ at all of our festivals across the country. REEL CANADA believes that making these acknowledgements everywhere where we present our activities is a small step we can take to demonstrate our deep recognition and respect for Indigenous peoples on whose traditional territories we are guests. We believe this action is one of many we can take as a step toward reconciliation.
Acknowledging the custodial territories your event will take place in is dependent on the Indigenous acknowledgement practice of the specific part of Canada you are in.
It is an opportunity for you to recognize your (or your organization’s) relationship with the Indigenous peoples of your community.
The following are REEL CANADA’s suggestions, which you can use as a guide to ensure that you have the correct wording for your event:
- Indigenous Corporate Training Inc. – First Nation Protocol on Traditional Territory
- University of Calgary – Cultural Protocol Guidelines
2. Contact your local school board, city council or another community hub as they may already have an acknowledgement statement that has been approved by local First Nations groups, and/or,
3. Connect with your local Friendship, Cultural, Language or Art Centre, and/or a local cultural leader or expert to ensure the accuracy of your acknowledgement, to help you with the pronunciation, and to inform you of any local protocols you may need to consider.
4. The following online databases may be helpful. Please keep in mind that these resources are not definitive; and it is always good to double-check your final copy.