Truth and Reconciliation films to watch

September 30 is the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. In previous issues of The Weekly, we have shared resources created by Alberta Municipalities to support communities in their reconciliation work and events taking place in various communities around Alberta. 

Now, we are sharing a list of films related to the legacy of residential schools because we realize some readers may not have a nearby event to attend, or they may want to mark the day quietly without leaving their homes. These films are available on YouTube, the CBC and major streaming platforms.

Some Alberta Municipalities staff are watching some of these films together this week during their lunch breaks.

Trick or Treaty: This documentary examines the differences between the written version of Treaty 9 and the oral understanding of the signatories. The film examines these different interpretations against the backdrop of the Idle No More protests.

We Are All Treaty People: This video discussion produced by the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund (DWF) shares information on various treaties throughout Canada. It was produced for Treaties Recognition Week which is observed annually in Ontario on the first week of November.

The Secret Path: This animated film uses poems and music by Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie and illustrations from Jeff Lemire to tell the story of Chanie Wenjack. Twelve-year-old Chanie escaped from the Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School near Kenora, Ontario, and died while trying to return to his family 600 kilometres away in Ogoki Post on the Marten Falls Reserve.

For Love: This movie explores how Indigenous people have been affected by the child welfare system. This documentary also highlights how Indigenous communities are taking over jurisdiction of the child welfare system to ensure better outcomes in the future. This film can be found on Netflix.

As the Smoke Rises: This documentary looks at the use of sage in Indigenous smudging ceremonies since ancient times.