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Program 9 - Wednesday November 8

  • Brava Theater Center 2781 24th Street San Francisco, CA, 94110 United States (map)

From Up North

DIRECTOR: Trudy Stewart

DOCUMENTARY SHORT • 14 minutes•  Canada

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From Up North is a personal, poetic short documentary directed by Trudy Stewart based on her experience working for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Featured storyteller Noel Starblanket shares his experiences of attending the Lebret Indian Residential School. While listening to Noel's stories, Trudy reflects on her time listening to survivors' stories and her connection to the Indian Residential School legacy.

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DIRECTOR: Sean Stiller


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Using the backdrop of traditional Shuswap territory in British Columbia’s interior as both physical and symbolic landscape, Kéwku weaves the tumultuous life experiences of Shuswap elder Ralph Phillips to his relationship with the healing medicine sage.

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Peace River Rising

DIRECTOR: Coty Savard

DOCUMENTARY SHORT • 10 minutes • Canada

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“This is Saaghii Naachii, they call it.”

In this short documentary, we see Fort St. John and the breath-taking surroundings of the Peace Region through the eyes of Dane-Zaa/ Nehiyaw social worker, poet and activist, Helen Knott. She takes us through the dramatic changes she has witnessed in her home territory: woodlands she explored as a child, locations where her family would gather, all but disappeared due to pipelines or housing developments to accommodate the influx of transient workers. 
Helen elaborates on the dangers of these industrial expansions, bringing to light the fact that Fort St. John, now primarily an oil and gas town, has a per capita crime rate that is nearly double Vancouver's. Activities traditional to her culture, have become a potential hazard on account of the contamination from various industrial endeavours surrounding the area. On the streets of Fort St. John, Helen and a fellow lifetime resident reflect on the overwhelming ratio of men to women in their city. What was once a city full of familiar faces is now overrun with strangers, with minimal personal attachment to the area. Helen then shares her own personal story of the violence she has encountered and how important it is to give voice to these experiences. She leaves us with a deeper perspective into why she does the work that she does and her hopes for a new world. 


My Irnik

DIRECTOR: Matthew Hood & Francois Lebeau

DOCUMENTARY SHORT • 16 minutes • Canada

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"My Irnik" is a short documentary film about a father and son’s relationship and the passion of shared adventure. Set in Arctic Canada, Conor, a young father and a native of Montreal fell in love with the northern way of life and with a woman from there. Now, with a young family, he helps to pass on the native traditions and ancestral culture to his son, as he learns them himself. In this surreal landscape and isolated community, these two are bonding over a shared love of the outdoors, dogsledding, exploration and new adventures.

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DIRECTOR: Myna Ishulutak

DOCUMENTARY SHORT • 36 minutes • Canada

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Myna lives in Iqaluit, capital of Nunavut, Inuit territory of Canadian Great North. Wishing to know more about her roots, she leaves everything behind to settle in Pangnirtung with her family. But Myna is gradually faced with another quest: the one to remember her own origins. Because Myna grew up on the other side of the Cumberland Sound, before the depart without return. 

Relaunch: Revitalizing the Tradition of the Muckleshoot Canoe

DIRECTOR: Dan Lamont


Relaunch tells the story of how 80 year-old master canoe carver and Muckleshoot Tribal elder Marvin “Cubby” Starr passed on his traditional knowledge to his son Marvin Jr. and Muckleshoot artist Tyson Simmons, who will now carry on that once neglected tradition to help revitalize the proud Muckleshoot culture. 

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The Love of the Game

DIRECTOR: Westin Petree


Indian Relay Racing is an ancient sport, dating back to the introduction of horses to North America by the Spanish. Today it's a huge sport in the Western US, its pulse-pounding bareback action thrilling crowds at rodeos and county fairs summer after summer. Now, an epic new event sponsored by the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe at its beautiful Emerald Downs racetrack has quickly come to be known by Natives as "The Big Show." Watch the action and emotion as multi-generational teams compete for the Muckleshoot Gold Cup in this, one of the very best Indian Relay Racing documentaries yet made.

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Beach Seining



Tulalip Tribal members Don Hatch and David Fryberg Sr. explain how tribal members used to fish from the shore using huge nets (beach seining).

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Telling the Truth, Part 1: The Historical Hoax That Created a Saint 

DIRECTOR: Gary Robinson


This hard-hitting documentary examines and exposes historical falsehoods, myths and hoaxes about California's historic missions. These myths undeservedly glorified Father Junipero Serra and the padres while denigrating the region's Native Americans and covering up the devastating impact these institutions had on their population, communities and cultures.

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Water Warriors

DIRECTOR: Michael Premo

DOCUMENTARY SHORT • 22 minutes • Canada/USA

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Water Warriors is the story of a community’s successful fight to protect their water from the oil and natural gas industry.

In 2013, Texas-based SWN Resources arrived in New Brunswick, Canada to explore for natural gas. The region is known for its forestry, farming and fishing industries, which are both commercial and small-scale subsistence operations that rural communities depend on. In response, a multicultural group of unlikely warriors–including members of the Mi’kmaq Elsipogtog First Nation, French-speaking Acadians and white, English-speaking families–set up a series of road blockades, preventing exploration. After months of resistance, their efforts not only halted drilling; they elected a new government and won an indefinite moratorium on fracking in the province.

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The Stories We Share

DIRECTOR: Kaitlin Lenhard


With seven perspectives, all from the Ojibwe community, we're given a look at the struggles faced in reclaiming indigenous languages, and how storytelling can aid in the recovering of cultural practices that have been lost as a result of colonization and the continued losses emphasized by globalization.

Earlier Event: November 7
Program 8 - Tuesday November 7
Later Event: November 8
Program 10 - Wednesday November 8