Skip to contentSkip to navigation
Stay
informed
In honour of Orange Shirt Day

In honour of Orange Shirt Day

on
September 29th, 2020
In honour of Orange Shirt Day

September 30 marks Orange Shirt Day, an annual event to honour residential school survivors and their families. The day is named for the bright orange shirt given to Phyllis Webstad by her grandmother when she was just six years old. She wore it to her first day of school in 1973 at St. Joseph Mission School in Williams Lake, B.C, but the shirt was taken away from her by school administrators. Today, communities across the country mark the day by raising awareness about the legacy of residential schools, as well as its impact on survivors and their descendants today. To mark the occasion, we've curated three documentaries by the National Film Board that can help us better understand this dark part of Canada's history and its legacy.

Stories are in Our Bones (11 minutes)

In this short but complex short, filmmaker Janine Windolph illustrates how knowledge is passed from one generation to the next. With the cameras rolling, Windolph takes her young sons fishing with their kokum (grandmother), a residential school survivor who retains a deep knowledge and memory of the land. The act of reconnecting with their homeland is a cultural and familial healing journey for the boys and a powerful form of resistance for the women.

This short film is available to stream for free at nfb.ca.

Stay connected during the lockdown. Sign up now.

Required

Isolation doesn't have to be isolating. Sign up and be part of the movement.

Required
Required
Required
Required
Waseskun (81 minutes)

Filmed in cinéma vérité tyle, this film follows a group of incarcerated men as they go through healing and rehabilitation at the Waseskun Healing Centre, a Correctional Service of Canada healing lodge run by Canadian Indigenous people for Indigenous inmates, situated in Quebec's Lanaudière region. Filmmaker Steve Patry spent three to four days a week living with the men for an entire year in order to truly capture their stories and experiences. Waseskun was nominated for two categories at the 5th Canadian Screen Awards, including Best Feature Length Documentary and Best Editing in a Documentary.

This film is availble to stream for free at nfb.ca.


More recommendations that shed light on Canada's Indigenous history and culture:
Jordan River Anderson, The Messenger (65 minutes)

Jordan River Anderson died from a rare muscle disorder called Carey-Fineman-Ziter syndrome in 2005. Although doctors had permitted Jordan to move into special housing when he was two years old, the Canadian federal and Manitoban provincial governments disputed which one was responsible for his home-care costs. Ultimately Jordan spent all five ears of his short life in hospital while multiple levels of government avoided taking responsibility for his care. Renowned filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin follows Jordan's journey and the long struggle of Indigenous activists to force the Canadian government to enforce “Jordan’s Principle” — the promise that no First Nations children would experience inequitable access to government-funded services again.

This film is available to stream for free at nfb.ca.

Stay connected with our curated recommendations. Sign up now.

Required

Isolation doesn't have to be isolating. Sign up and be part of the movement.

Required
Required
Required
Required
Stand with us in the defense of Canada's cultural and economic interests.