In this 96 minute feature documentary, Aboriginal filmmaker and artist Alanis Obomsawin chronicles the determination and tenacity of the Listuguj Mi'kmaq people to use and manage the natural resources of their traditional lands. Our Nationhood provides a contemporary perspective on the Mi'kmaq people's ongoing struggle and ultimate success, culminating in the community receiving an award for Best Managed River from the same government that had denied their traditional rights.
Alanis Obomsawin is an acclaimed documentary filmmaker, she was born in New Hampshire in 1932. When she was six months old her family moved to the Odanak reserve near Sorel, Quebec. Théophile Panadis, her mother's cousin taught her the songs and stories of the Abenaki Nation. At age nine she was uprooted to Trois-Rivieres, Quebec. Having grown up speaking only the Abenaki language, she had to learn French and, as the only aboriginal child at school, was taunted and beaten regularly. As a young woman she learned English and trained as a beautician before moving to Montreal, to become a folksinger and storyteller. Once she started to work with the National Film Board of Canada, she continued making films with a strong focus on social justice and aboriginal people. Her most acclaimed work was the 1993 documentary Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance, about the 1990 Oka crisis. In 2009 Obomsawin was selected to be honoured with a retrospective of her work and an outstanding achievement award from the Hot Docs documentary Toronto Film Festival. Her work has been honoured and shown in festivals around the world.
Other related post links with her films to watch:
Watch 1993 interview of filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin "Behind Mohawk Lines"
The filmmaker describes some harrowing moments in the making of her 1993 documentary of the Oka crisis. Kahnesatake: 270 Years of Resistance: National Film Board of Canada.
Video Film: "Kanehsatake 270 Years of Resistance by Alanis Obomsawin - Kanehsatake, 270 ans de résistance"
Video: Documentary on Alanis Obomsawin, the activist
Video: "Telling Our Stories" by Alanis Obomsawin
Video documentary film "Hi-Ho Mistahey!" "I Love You Very Much!" directed by Alanis Obomsawin ~ the story of Shannen’s Dream
Video documentary film "Our Nationhood"
Video Documentary Film: "Is The Crown At War With Us?" by Alanis Obomsawin - "La Couronne Cherche-t-elle à Nous Faire La Guerre?"
Watch her various documentaries made with the National Film Board of Canada