Sovereignty and Resistance
This theme offers film excerpts on land claims, management of natural resources, ancestral rights and recovery of Aboriginal cultural artefacts. It also presents images showing the resistance of Aboriginal peoples to repression by non-Aboriginal culture.
Totem: The Return of the G'psgolox Pole
2003, Director: Cardinal, Gil
excerpt 2 3 min 29 s
Each film on this site is available for viewing at low speed or high speed.
- Low speed: recommended if your Internet connection uses a dial-up modem (56 kbps or slower). Low-speed viewing results in lower quality image and sound.
- High speed: recommended if you have high-speed Internet (DSL, cable modem) or are connected to an institutional network. Viewing in high-speed mode may cause occasional jerky images and sound interruptions if the speed of your connection is not fast enough.
If you're not sure which speed to use for viewing the films, try high speed first. If the results are not satisfactory, switch to low speed.
Films can be available for viewing in either Macromedia Flash or QuickTime. Image and sound quality are similar for all these formats.
- Flash: lets you view the film directly in the Web page without launching an external application. Requires the Flash plug-in (download for free at Macromedia Flash Player).
- QuickTime (alternative format): requires QuickTime, version 7 or more recent (download for free at QuickTime).
Closed captions (CC)
Translation of the audio portion of a film into subtitles, for example, dialogue, narration, sound effects, etc. These captions let hearing-impaired viewers read what they cannot hear. Closed captions are available for a few films. To access them, you must select QuickTime (under Format) and With closed captions (under Accessibility).
Described video (DV)
A narrated description of a film's key visual elements to enable the vision-impaired to form a mental picture of what is happening on screen. Described video is available for a few films. To access them, you must select QuickTime (under Format) and With described video (under Accessibility).
Gil Cardinal is a director, writer and producer based in Edmonton, Alberta. Of Métis descent (Cree and French), much of his work relates to Aboriginal themes.
His film and television career began in 1973 behind a studio camera at Alberta’s educational television service, ACCESS. Leaving the studio floor, he became a staff producer-director. The 1980s were spent freelancing, mainly with the National Film Board, up until the establishment of his own production company in the early nineties. He now works as an independent under the banner of Homeland Films.
His documentary work covers a range of topics, including the search for his own Aboriginal heritage and natural family (Foster Child), the inclusion of First Nations in the 1992 Constitutional negotiations (Our Home and Native Land) and fetal alcohol syndrome (David with F.A.S.). His 2003 film, Totem: The Return of the G’psgolox pole, documents the efforts of the Haisla people of Kitamaat Village, B.C., to repatriate a totem pole from Sweden back to their community.
His dramatic work includes episodic television (North of 60, The Rez, Mentors), anthologies (Four Directions: The Border), a four-hour CBC mini-series (Big Bear) and the Galafilm/History Television Chiefs series – (episodes on Poundmaker and Joseph Brant). Recently, in 2006, he wrote and directed another four-hour CBC mini-series, Indian Summer: the Oka Crisis.
A filmography of his work with the NFB can be consulted by going to www.nfb.ca, clicking on “Find a film”, and searching for Gil Cardinal in the credits.
Interview with Gil Cardinal