Colonialism and Racism
The film excerpts in this theme show the devastating effects of European colonialist policies on Aboriginal peoples. They also show acts of racism in which Aboriginal peoples have been victimized in their relations with whites.
1997, Director: Todd, Loretta
excerpt 1 2 min 55 s
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1. Explain how after World War II, First Nation communities lost land under the Canadian government’s Soldier Settlement Act. Do you think this was fair, why or why not?
2. What rights and opportunities were denied to Aboriginal veterans that were commonly given to non-aboriginal war veterans?
Although they could not be conscripted, when World War II was declared, thousands of Canadian Aboriginal men and women enlisted and fought alongside their non-Native countrymen. While they fought for freedom for others, ironically the Aboriginal soldiers were not allowed equality in their own country.
As a reward for fighting, the Canadian Soldier Veteran's Settlement Act allowed returning soldiers to buy land at a cheap price. However, many of the Aboriginal soldiers were never offered nor told about the land entitlement. Some returned home to find the government had seized parts of their own reserve land to compensate non-Native war veterans. Whole First Nations communities still mourn the loss of the thousands of acres of prime land they were forced to surrender.
With narrator Gordon Tootoosis providing an historical overview, Aboriginal veterans poignantly share their unforgettable war memories and their healing process. We join them as they travel back to Europe to perform a sacred circle for friends left behind, but not forgotten, in foreign grave sites.
Director: Loretta Todd
Writing: Loretta Todd
Producer: Carol Geddes
Producer: Michael Doxtater
Producer: Jerry Krepakevich
Producer: Graydon McCrea
Photography: Jim Jeffrey
Photography: Ali Kazimi
Photography: Jean-Pierre Lachapelle
Photography: Kirk Tougas
Sound: Chris Aikenhead
Sound: Brian Avery
Sound: Lindsay Bucknell
Sound: William Butler
Sound: Garrell Clark
Sound: Leon Johnson
Sound: Michael McGee
Sound: Hans Oomes
Sound: Don Paches
Editing: Shirley Claydon
Editing: Gerald K. Wilson
Sound: Marc Benoit
Sound: Marc Benoit
Voice and Narration: Gordon Tootoosis
Music: Wesley Lowe
Music: Russell Wallace