Indigenous Knowledge

The film excerpts under this theme consider the role of women, ways of thinking about hunting and fishing, forestry management, the technique of building an igloo, the importance of spirituality, and the preservation and transmission of ancestral values.


Bella Bella

Bella Bella 1

Circle of the Sun

Circle of the Sun 1

Eskimo Arts and Crafts

Eskimo Arts and Crafts 1

Our Nationhood

Our Nationhood 6

Tales of Sand and Snow

Tales of Sand and Snow 1

Circle of the Sun

1960, Director: Low, Colin

excerpt 1      2 min 30 s


Description At this 1961 gathering of the Blood Indians of Alberta, participants sit in a circle in a tepee to celebrate the opening of elder Calling Last’s beaver bundle. Sweetgrass is burnt for incense, songs are sung and drums are beaten.
Questions 1. In Circle of the Sun, Aboriginal spirituality is explained in terms of Christian views and ideas. Is this effective in building an understanding of Aboriginal spirituality? How is it lacking? What are its benefits?

2. An Elder from the film teaches that everything alive is sacred. Using examples from the film, explain how this teaching manifests itself in the day-to-day lives of its people.

About This Film

Short Description

The film captures, for the first time, the Sun Dance at the gathering of the Blood Indians of Alberta in 1956. The narrator reveals the significance of the circle to Blood Indian culture and spirituality and addresses the predicament of the young generation.

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