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


At the 1956 gathering of the Blood Indians of Alberta, the exciting spectacle of the Sun Dance was captured on film for the first time. The film examines Blood Indian culture and spirituality, showing how the theme of the circle reflects their connection to wildlife, and addresses the predicament of the young generation--those who have relinquished their ties with their own culture but have not yet found a firm place in a changing world.

Director: Colin Low
Writing: Colin Low
Producer: Tom Daly
Editing: Tom Daly
Writing: Stanley Jackson
Photography: John Spotton
Photography: Dalton Muir
Sound: George Croll
Sound: Ron Alexander
Sound: Erik Nielsen
Sound: Kathleen Shannon
Consultant: Jim Whitebull
Voice and Narration: Pete Standing Alone
Music: Eldon Rathburn

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