"Deep down we're all fractured," an oil and gas representative tells young Aboriginal leader and lawyer Caleb Behn. Behn knows that feeling all too well, as he struggles with the role he'll play in protecting his traditional territory under Treaty 8 in northern British Columbia, an area that is currently under siege from some of the world's largest natural gas operations.
The Gwa'sala and 'Nakwaxda'xw First Nations people lived as two distinct groups along Canada's northwest coast. How A People Live traces their history, from traditions documented by Franz Boas and Edward Sheriff Curtis, the Indian Residential School experience and a forced relocation from traditional territories in 1964, to return visits to their homelands that ignited the healing process and aroused interest in rich cultural traditions.
In 1944, Charlie Post and Jimmy Dennis were both removed from their families to attend the Le Jac Indian Residential School. Just 10 years old, they never saw their families again. They share their experiences of event that illustrate why both men have spent a lifetime trying to overcome the impact of that traumatic day and the eight years that followed.
Family relationships and traditional teachings of Indigenous people were severely disrupted by the Canadian Government and church-run Residential and Confessional schools from the late 1800s until well into the 20th century. The Power of the Spirit explores state-sanctioned attempts to “take the Indian out of the child” and the efforts Indigenous people embarked on in the 1950s and 60s to chart new grounds for education and spirituality based on traditional learning.
When she was ten, Lisa Jackson fled Toronto to live with relatives in Vancouver to escape her mother's depression, alcoholism and prescription drug abuse - legacies of the residential school experience. Now, sifting through her memories and her mother's letters, she constructs a portrait of a mother whose drive to love her daughter triumphed over her demons of addiction.
In this collaboration between Marilyn Simon Ingram (IRS survivor and advocate), Barb Martin and Outreach Productions, Indian Residential School survivors in Atlantic Canada reflect on their experiences with the Shubenacadie Residential School in central Nova Scotia.