Premonition: On the Eve of Signing Treaty 6 (4 min, Dir: Barry Bilinsky) Premonition acknowledges the major shifts that happened when European traders and settlers began to come into the territory. The birth of the Metis Nation, a unique and storied people who stem from the First Nations’ and Fur Traders’ early interactions, are shown to integrate beliefs from both the Church and traditional Indigenous teachings. This piece is originally 7680 pixels x 4320 pixels, projection mapped onto a 42 feet x 12.8 feet (12.82 m x 3.90 m) corner wall. The content plays above the Post-Contact First Nations section of the Indigenous Peoples Experience in Fort Edmonton Park. The exhibition wall shows how the promise of early contact descended into a series of shocks to the First Nations way of life and culture. By the time we get to the signing of Treaty 6, we realize the dire situation of the First Nations. Yet underlying it all is a culture fighting to maintain its strength and connection to the land.
Wâhkôhtowin | All My Relations (6 min, Dir: Barry Bilinsky) The power of stories, told over many nights, over many years, through all the languages across the world, are encapsulated in an intimate story between a grandmother and her children’s children on a clear winter night in the tipi. This animated film is a cinematic linear output of a piece that was originally created for an immersive space within the Indigenous Peoples Experience in Fort Edmonton Park, Canada. The original film was custom designed to play across seventeen twenty foot high screens and on three traditionally crafted, human sized teepees.
Johnny Crow (7 min, Dir: Xstine Cook, Jesse Gouchey) A poetic and transformative journey of a young man’s physical, mental, and spiritual struggle to return to his son through the criminal justice system and the layers of colonization it represents. Created by animating spray-painted murals frame-by-frame, Cree artist Jesse Gouchey painted each frame on large outdoor surfaces over a period of seven years in numerous locations across Alberta and BC. Johnny Crow’s struggle speaks to the resilience of modern day warriors surviving and resisting bureaucratic battles of written laws vs oral traditions, and is contrasted by a haunting poem written and performed by spoken word artist Mitcholos Touchie. Music by Bull Horn Singers, Billy Wadsworth, Celina Kalluk, Daniel Neary, Pura Fé, Cary L. Morin, and Antonia Crescioni.
RKLSS (5 min, Dir: Tank Standing Buffalo) Tank, a natural artist who is always drawing, runs into trouble with the law with his gang of friends. Tank is convicted, jailed, and subjected to solitary confinement and intense brutality. His art allows him to escape his terrible conditions. He discovers his own native spirituality while in jail, and through his art, finds a way to be in the world, and to reflect on his own reality.
This Ink Runs Deep (16 min, Dir: Asia Youngman) This Ink Runs Deep features indigenous tattoo artists from across Canada who are reviving ancestral traditions that disappeared during colonization. Through the film, we learn about the practices that were thought to be lost forever, and how their revival reflects a reawakening of indigenous identity.
My “Indian” Name (45 min, Dir: Abraham Côté) My “Indian” Name is a one-hour documentary that takes a look at how having their traditional names stripped away from them has impacted Indigenous peoples. Without their original names, people are often left trying to find how they fit in this world. Luckily today, steps are being taken to reclaim their basic right to their true names.
Kahurangi (15 min, Dir: Kayla Hamilton) Kahurangi is a teenage girl struggling with her fear of loss. While attempting to overcome her fears, she reconnects with her culture.