Indigenous perspectives film series

Wednesdays, June 5 to June 26, 2019

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A seated audience viewing three large screens in a dimly lit room.

Photo: CMHR, Doug Little

Event details

Join us for a series of special screenings of acclaimed Indigenous films to honour Indigenous experiences, culture and heritage.


$5 for each film night or purchase tickets to all four screenings at once and save 25%.


Manitoba Teachers' Society Classrooms, Canadian Museum for Human Rights, 85 Israel Asper Way

Colonization Road

Video: Colonization Road Trailer

Colonization Road with host Ryan McMahon — June 5

In towns throughout Ontario, there are startling reminders of the colonization of Indigenous territories and the displacement of First Nations people. Anishinaabe comedian and activist Ryan McMahon takes us to his hometown of Fort Frances and down its main drag, which is called Colonization Road. Similar streets have similar names in towns and cities across the province, direct reminders of the Public Lands Act of 1853 and its severe impact on First Nations, their treaties and their land in the name of “Canadian settlement.” On his journey through Ontario, McMahon explores the history of these roads, meets with settlers in solidarity and raises significant questions about “reconciliation” and what it means to “decolonize.”

Featuring: Ryan McMahon (host), Pam Palmater, Hayden King, Jeff Denis, Cuyler Cotton, Chief Erwin Redsky, Lee Maracle, Teika Newton, Al Hunter, Heidi Bohaker Rod McLeod, Daryl Redsky, Linda Redsky, Janis Redsky, Leanne Simpson, Niigaan Sinclair, Doug Williams and more.

A Q&A with the film’s host Ryan McMahon will follow the screening of the film.



Seven Sacred Laws

Video: "Seven Sacred Laws" Trailer

Seven Sacred Laws with Nihad Ademi and Elder Dave Courchene — June 12

"Seven Sacred Laws" is an inspiring documentary on the ancient universal values of the Anishinaabe People of Turtle Island (North America). In this follow‐up work to the award‐winning bio‐doc "White Balloon," director and writer Nihad Ademi provides his moving account of the Seven Sacred Laws as important guideposts to inspire our conduct as human beings and bring us back into a relationship with Mother Earth. Featuring breathtaking footage of the prairie landscape and interviews with Indigenous elders, Dave Courchene Jr. and Florence Paynter, Seven Sacred Laws helps us to redefine who we are and where we are going in this age of growing conflict, dislocation, and environmental calamity.

A Q&A with filmmaker Nihad Ademi and Elder Dave Courchene will follow the screening of the film.



Through Black Spruce

Video: Official Through Black Spruce Trailer

Through Black Spruce with Tina Keeper — June 19

Based on the Giller Award‐winning novel of the same name by Joseph Boyden, Through Black Spruce is a story of identity and survival.

The disappearance of a young Indigenous woman named Suzanne Bird triggers events in two worlds: in Moosonee, the remote Northern Ontario community she fled years ago, and Toronto, where she modelled for a while before vanishing into the ether. Her sister Annie is a hunter, a fiercely independent woman who’s always resented her weaker twin. But their mother’s despair sends her south to retrace Suzanne’s steps. Her life in Moosonee soon recedes as she’s drawn into the glittering “artists and models” scene her sister left behind. Meanwhile, her uncle Will copes with the dangerous consequences of Suzanne’s disappearance… and comes up against the ghosts of his own private tragedy. The two worlds finally collide in the fallout from the missing woman's troubled life.

Through Black Spruce is a contemporary drama in English and Moose Cree from Serendipity Point Films, Kistikan Pictures and Buffalo Gal Pictures. Directed by Don McKellar (The Grand Seduction, Last Night) from a screenplay by Barbara Samuels (North of 60). The film stars Tanaya Beatty (Hostiles, Hochelaga) as Annie, Brandon Oakes (Blackstone, the upcoming Blood Quantum) as Will, Kiowa Gordon (The Twilight Saga) as Jesse, Graham Greene (Dances With Wolves) as Leo, Tantoo Cardinal (Wind River) as Mary Lou, Wesley French (Shadow Hunters) as Marius, Roseanne Supernault (Blackstone) as Eva and Tina Keeper (North of 60, the upcoming Falls Around Her) as Lisette.

A Q&A with Tina Keeper will follow the screening of the film.



Indian Horse

Video: Indian Horse - OFFICIAL TRAILER HD

Indian Horse — June 26

An adaptation of Richard Wagamese’s award‐winning novel, this moving and important drama sheds light on the dark history of Canada’s Indian residential schools and the indomitable spirit of Indigenous people.

In the late 1950s Ontario, eight‐year‐old Saul Indian Horse is torn from his Ojibway (Anishnaabe) family and committed to one of Canada’s notorious Indian residential schools. In this oppressive environment, Saul is denied the freedom to speak his language or embrace his Indigenous heritage while he witnesses horrendous abuse at the hands of the very people entrusted with his care. Despite this, Saul finds salvation in the unlikeliest of places and favourite Canadian pastime — hockey. Fascinated by the game, he secretly teaches himself to play, developing a unique and rare skill. He seems to see the game in a way no other player can.

His talent leads him away from the misery of the school, eventually leading him to the pros. But the ghosts of Saul’s past are always present, and threaten to derail his promising career and future. Forced to confront his painful past, Saul draws on the spirit of his ancestors and the understanding of his friends to begin the process of healing.

Indian Horse stars Canadian newcomers Sladen Peltier, Ajuawak Kapashesit and Edna Manitouwabe as well as Forrest Goodluck (The Revenant), Michael Murphy (Away From Her), Michael Lawrenchuck (Tokyo Cowboy), Johnny Issaluk (Two Lovers And A Bear) and Michiel Husiman (The Age Of Adaline).



Get your ticket online, by phone at 204–289‑2000 or by visiting the Museum’s ticketing desk.

Please note that this program is subject to change or cancellation without notice.