Cinema and Representation

This theme focuses on the ways in which Aboriginal peoples have been represented in NFB documentaries. Film excerpts illustrate how the representation of Aboriginal peoples has evolved over the last fifty years.


Caribou Hunters

Caribou Hunters 1

Caribou Hunters

1951, Director: Greenlees, Stephen

excerpt 1      1 min 43 s



This folkloric portrayal of Manitoban Crees and Chipewans filmed in 1951 shows the Indians happily doing business with the Hudson’s Bay Company.


1. Identify the stereotypical roles being portrayed in the segment at the trading post. How could the portrayal of the Dene hunters have been more authentic?

2. How does the film depict the importance of stewardship to the Cree and Dene of the North, and why is stewardship as important today to our Aboriginal people as it was when the film was made?

About This Film


The Cree and Chippewa Indians of northern Manitoba lead a nomadic life as they roam the northern stretches of forest and tundra in search of the caribou that is their main source of food. The camera follows a group of Indian hunters with their dog teams as they move with the herds and at the same time trap the smaller animals of the forest and streams. Their focal point is the Hudson's Bay Company trading post, where they bring their furs to exchange for the few essentials of their hardy existence. We also see their camp life, and examples of their colourful handicrafts.

Director: Stephen Greenlees
Producer: Tom Daly
Photography: Julien St-Georges
Editing: Victor Jobin
Voice and Narration: John Drainie
Music: Maurice Blackburn

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