Award-winning Tsilhqot’in filmmaker Helen Haig-Brown, from B.C.’s Chilcotin Cariboo region, tackles the emotional legacy of Canada’s residential schools tragedy, and her own inability to commit to relationships, in this powerful and highly personal experimental documentary.
This is a candid portrait of an Aboriginal community struggling to come to terms with a searing legacy of sexual abuse, incest and family violence.The continuing, devastating effects of the residential school system are also revealed; in this system, physical, emotional and sexual abuse were all too often routine. Contains strong language and graphic sexual detail.
Using historical source documents, survivors' personal testimonies and detailed analysis from community leaders, the film explores in detail, the Federal Government's primary motivation in the creation of these schools.
While examining the influences of Indian wars, Sir John A. MacDonald's National Policy, Land Claims issues, the film details how all of these events and visions contributed to the development of these schools. The film argues that the lasting effects that First Nations in Canada suffer today, can be traced back directly to their experiences within these schools. Finally, we as Canadians are all challenged to re-examine our shared history.
Red Crow Mi'gMaq reservation, 1976: By government decree, every Indian child under the age of 18 must attend residential school. That means imprisonment at St. Dymphna's and being at the mercy of Popper, the sadistic Indian agent who runs the school. At 15, Aila is the weed princess of Red Crow. She sells enough dope to pay Popper her truancy tax, keeping her out of St. D's. But when Aila's drug money is stolen and her father Joseph returns from prison, her only options are to run or fight.