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The People of the Kattawapiskak River

Directed by Alanis Obomsawin
Canada, 2012 (documentary, 50 minutes, colour, English)
Also known as "Le peuple de la rivière Kattawapiskak"
The People of the Kattawapiskak River
Image: © National Film Board of Canada

Film Description:
"It is October 2011, and 1,700 Kattawapiskak Cree are living in dreadful conditions at minus 40 degrees in Northern Ontario, along James Bay. Their homes have crude stoves, holes in the walls and floors, and no sewage lines, heating or insulation. Alanis Obomsawin's documentary The People of the Kattawapiskak River examines the history and causes of a housing crisis that struck this community hard. Included are personal accounts by the people here and political debates in the House of Commons. The director explains that Treaty 9, which promised a square kilometre of land to each family of five in the community, was never respected. How can the Kattawapiskak Cree overcome these shameful, slum-like conditions in a country deemed one of the world's richest?"
-- National Film Board of Canada (source)

Film Credits (partial):
Written by: Alanis Obomsawin, Ravida Din
Produced by: Alanis Obomsawin
Narrator: Alanis Obomsawin
Film Editing: Alison Burns
Production Company: National Film Board of Canada / Office national du film du Canada
(sources)

Award won by The People of the Kattawapiskak River

Quote by the Director

"I saw how it really goes in the [Kattawapiskak Cree] community, and I admired them: How they try to keep the young busy every night, how hard it is to achieve, to organize games, so that they would not be left in bad shape. This community works hard at it. Everything is done so that the community remains in good health. Each night, they organize hockey parties and dances. It's a lot of work! It is extraordinary how much they love their youth, showing their constant capacity to imagine something new. And when anything bad happens, everybody helps. I was moved by their generosity. There is a lot of beauty in poverty. Someone from Los Angeles asked me, 'How could you make such a beautiful film with such an ugly subject?' Well, I see those people caring for each other as beautiful—and that is how I did the movie. Just look around you, you will see beauty."
-- Alanis Obomsawin (source)

Bibliography for The People of the Kattawapiskak River

Articles from Newspapers, Magazines, or News Websites

Web Sites about The People of the Kattawapiskak River


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