I just want to offer my thanks for your ongoing support of our work, and especially with regard to our first film, In Jesus' Name: Shattering the Silence of St. Anne's Residential School.
Although we did not win an award at the Femaie Eye Film Festival (FeFF), our film was nominated for Best Documentary 2018. This is quite an outstanding achievement as there were so many fabulous filmmakers and films at this festival.
I hope to write again soon.
Miigwetch, Thank you!
There is an egregious injustice that will become apparent in the Ontario Superior Court of 'Justice' tomorrow, Monday June 4th. 130 Queen St. West, Toronto. Try to arrive and meet outside at 9:30am.
Canada's Department of 'Justice' is suing one of the St. Anne's Survivors' biggest advocates, lawyer Fay Brunning. They will attempt to be successful in suing Fay for bringing two really important cases to the court, Angela Shisheesh's case and another. Fay has self-financed almost all of the advocacy work that she has been doing for these past 5 years.
WHAT? Yes, you are hearing me right. Fay Brunning has been advocating for the Survivors of St. Anne's Residential School since 2013 when it was brought to her attention that the Canadian federal government had in its possession thousands upon thousands of pages of evidence of horrific abuses against CHILDREN at St. Anne's. FORTY THOUSAND PAGES OF EVIDENCE THAT THE CANADIAN GOVERNMENT under both the PC and the Liberal governments held back from the Independent Assessment Process, from the survivors, their legal counsel and researchers. And in 2017 it was discovered that there are potentially thousands more pages of evidence in the hands of the Department of Justice. These behaviours by the Canadian federal government - to reaffirm...both the PC and Liberal governments - in no way resemble anything close to reconciliation. SHAME!!!!
We need to seriously consider taking a knee in court. Enough is enough!!
We are very pleased to announce that our film has officially been selected to screen in the Toronto Short Film Festival. The date is Wednesday March 14th. The film will screen at 9:15pm. Ticket sales should begin soon. Hope to see you there! Thank you, Miigwetch, Sue and Edmund
Sorry for taking SO long to write. Life has been very busy in Toronto and elsewhere but things are really beginning to come together. Our film, In Jesus' Name: Shattering the Silence of St. Anne's Residential School, has received a number of very positive reviews.
As many of you know, the film is now being distributed to universities, colleges, public libraries and other institutions. It is our hope that many people will come to realize the 'realities' of the residential school system, and after viewing the film, to begin to take action to ensure that Indigenous rights everywhere are being honoured and upheld.
In the past few months, the film has received two film festivals awards, and has also screened in Thunder Bay and in Winnipeg with the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation/University of Manitoba. Our awards are listed on the webpage dedicated to the film.
Most notably, a segment of the film will be installed this year at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (Winnipeg). This film segment will be installed in the gallery dedicated to educating museum visitors about genocides and mass atrocities, the 'Breaking the Silence' gallery.
We will talk soon! Your comments are always appreciated.
It looks like we may be presenting some of our clips at a gallery at the Canadian Human Rights Museum! Will keep you posted on this! Sue
Well, it is official. Edmund Metatawabin and I will be flying out to Winnipeg in December to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation for a screening of our first film about the notoriously violent St. Anne's Residential School. This is a great honour for us! Together, we can make a difference.
Miigwetch, Thank you, Sue
So proud of all the Survivors we have interviewed, Chief Wilton Littlechild and all of my crew members, each of to whom this award can be attributed!!! I had NO idea we were going to receive the IMPACT Award at the Reelworld Film Festival - for the feature film most likely result in social change. Big shout out to Trevor Carroll too, director of NO Reservations! Edmund Metatawabin....we are getting THERE. The world will soon come to know all about St. Anne's Residential School and what the children endured at that incredibly violent institution.
Edmund and I would like to say a HUGE thank you to all who managed to come out for the MFA Premiere Screening of In Jesus' Name at the Ted Rogers HotDocs Cinema in Toronto. We opened with traditional ceremony and healers were present to support survivors and their kin. MANY of us gathered at the Second Cup afterward to decompress from what is a very difficult film to take in.
Thanks so much to the Survivors in the film for coming out to the screening!! Your bravery and strength is helping others to begin opening up about what happened to them while at St. Anne's and other residential schools. As you know, this journey of releasing long-held trauma can be difficult but also very cathartic. We are SO proud of all of you!!
We also now have a Canada-wide educational distributor, McIntyre Media. The Survivors in the film expressed (before the film was completed) how so few Canadians knew about St. Anne's Residential School and the abuses that occurred there. It is our hope that students viewing the film will dig more deeply into the history of St. Anne's to ensure that, in a few years, the whole world becomes aware of Canada's racism and the brutalities of the Catholic church.
We are now seeking funding to complete the second film about St. Anne's Residential School and the Survivors. This is NOT Reconciliation has recently been pitched to the National Film Board of Canada as a co-production. We should hear back from them in the next month or so as to whether or not they are willing to come on board so that we can complete this film in a very powerful way. I will do my best to keep you posted!
Miigwetch, Thank you!
From Sue and Edmund
I know it has been a VERY long time since I blogged on this site. My apologies. As I am the director, one of the producers AND the editor on the first film - "In Jesus' Name," - in the (now) Erasing Cultural Genocide series, all of my time it seems has been committed to completing this documentary. It was decided last summer to create more than one film as many people still do not comprehend the depth, breadth and severity of abuses at Canada's residential school. So before we get into today's politics of survival too much, we felt that Canadians and others around the world still need to be informed about the human rights abuses of the past, despite the great works of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
That said, we are please to announce that the Premiere Public Screening of "In Jesus' Name" (an MFA Qualifying Screening) will be at the Bloor HotDocs Cinema in Toronto on WEDNESDAY JUNE 7TH, at 6:45 pm. We will be opening with traditional ceremony and healers will be present to support residential school Survivors and their kin. This film is part of a film festival, DocNow 2017, created and organized by this year's graduating class of Ryerson's Documentary Media Masters program (see: docnow.ca). We encourage everyone to stay for all of the films that will be airing that evening as these really are STELLAR documentaries created by fully engaged emerging documentary artists. And the event is FREE!!!!
Everyone involved in the making of this film sincerely hopes that you will come out and bring others with you. Keep in mind that the content of the film is MATURE (16+ years of age).
Last week's case conference at Osgoode Hall in Toronto was an eye-opener again to just how insidious the Canadian government continues to be when it comes to being 'just' toward residential school Survivors.
What came to light is that the Canadian government has more, more, more documents that were not brought into the Independent Assessment Process but could have been. These are testimonials from Survivors who were brave enough to write down their stories in the early to mid-1990s....over 700 testimonials that would - without question - corroborate the 'stories' of Survivors who are engaged in compensatory hearings at the Independent Assessment Process. These testimonies from the Survivors are said to be damning with respect to treatment of the children at this school that was a house a horrors for so many. Had these documents been willingly submitted in 2007 by a government committed - TRULY committed - to Truth and Reconciliation in Canada, then St. Anne's Survivors' claims would likely not have been denied and Survivors would have been under-compensated for the abuses they endured over a number of years.
In short, even under the 'leadership' of prime minister Justin Trudeau, these behaviours by the Department of 'Justice' equate to obstruction of justice. There can be no reconciliation with a government that continues to hide what went on at the residential schools. If Prime Minister Trudeau is to hold true to his word about actively reconciling the Canadian government with indigenous issues in Canada, then he had better address this obstruction of justice sooner rather than later. The Survivors deserve this deep level of respect.
ALL DOCUMENTS - including ALL medical records - should have been brought into the IAP. These too, are buried it seems. How do we hold the Canadian government to account? Enough is enough!