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.


Tales of Sand and Snow

Tales of Sand and Snow 1

Tales of Sand and Snow

2004, Director: Combary, Hyacinthe

excerpt 1      1 min 37 s


Description Filmmaker Hyacinthe Combary, a Gourmantché from Burkina Faso,West Africa, visits Charles Coocoo, an Attikamekw from Wemotaci, Québec. Combary notices a similarity between their two cultures in regards to the importance of working in the woods and being connected with Nature as a way to foster fundamental ancestral human values in the young.
Questions 1. What environmental concerns do the Atikamekw people of Quebec share with the Gourmantche people of Burkina Faso?

2. Explain how the rituals and ceremonies of the Gourmantche and Atikemekw peoples are similar. Is there evidence of a shared world view between Indigenous people around the world?

About This Film


Having recently immigrated to Montreal, Burkinabe director Hyacinthe Combary explores his roots in an effort to rediscover the spiritual values of his people. His quest leads him to the northern forests of Quebec and an enlightening encounter with the Atikamekw of Wemotaci. In filming this Aboriginal people, he creates a moving cinematic dialogue between the Gourmantche of Burkina Faso, who practise the divinatory art of geomancy, and the men of the taiga, who connect with the spirits through sweat lodges.

In this journey between North and South, the filmmaker comes to the realization that his quest is universal. "It is the same question for all the peoples of the earth: With the globalization of culture, how can one keep from becoming dehumanized, from being cut off from one's deepest being?"

Writing: Hyacinthe Combary
Director: Hyacinthe Combary
Producer: Yves Bisaillon
Cast or Participant: Charles Coocoo
Cast or Participant: Bapougni Coulidiaty
Cast or Participant: Maldjoa Combary
Cast or Participant: Richard Coocoo
Cast or Participant: Mary Coon
Cast or Participant: Paul-Yves Weizineau
Cast or Participant: David Boivin
Cast or Participant: Djouali Coulidiaty
Cast or Participant: Souleymane Coulidiaty
Cast or Participant: Linda Dubé
Cast or Participant: Catherine Hiess
Cast or Participant: Sonia Monsalve
Cast or Participant: Limani Ouali
Cast or Participant: Djergou Ouoba
Cast or Participant: Augustine Rasquin
Cast or Participant: Christopher Schools
Cast or Participant: José Tolo
Cast or Participant: Wolf Alfred Zimmerli
Consultant: Hyacinthe Combary
Photography: Michel La Veaux
Sound: Jean-Denis Daoust
Sound: Richard Lavoie
Editing: José Heppell
Sound: Olivier Calvert
Music: La Troupe Boayaba
Sound: Issa Nabi Traore
Voice and Narration: Hyacinthe Combary
Consultant: Nick Huard
Sound: Lise Wedlock
Sound: Serge Boivin
Producer: Yves Bisaillon

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