PATHWAYS TO HEALING THROUGH FILM
We are once again organizing the tour of a major Indigenous film ahead of its cinematic release. As was the case with Indian Horse, this new film, Bones of Crows by award-winning Métis/Dene filmmaker Marie Clements, will provide an opportunity for communities to come together in conversation with elders and survivors over the intergenerational impacts of residential schools. These gatherings will be community facilitated and will include the presence of community wellness workers, as well as directors and/or cast from the film.
In 2018, we established a collaboration with Screen Siren Pictures, the producers of the acclaimed movie Indian Horse, to bring this important film to 40 remote Indigenous communities ahead of its cinematic release. Each screening brought together elders and community members, often for the very first time, so they could collectively reflect on the devastating effects of residential school. At every screening, we witnessed tears, the beginnings of healing, truth being spoken often for the first time, and a deeper understanding by all of the circumstances that have led to the present-day struggles of individuals, families and entire communities. The Indian Horse tour was historic, and a gift to the communities that will endure and make way for much-needed healing and transformation. The communities are deeply thankful, as we are, for everyone who made the tour possible.
Co-executive producer, Stephen Campanelli on the work of ILFP and the Northern Tour.
Gala in celebration of the Northern Tour, attended by Indian Horse actors and many dignitaries, such as Senator Murray Sinclair and
Minister Carolyn Bennett
In 2019, the GRIZZLIES Northern Tour was organized to provide remote Indigenous communities, primarily Inuit, with an opportunity to see the GRIZZLIES movie ahead of its Canadian cinematic release. Together with Northwood Media, Mongrel Media Inc. and Elite Vision Communications, we believed it was imperative that Indigenous people, especially the youth, be able to see this uplifting story in a community setting, to collectively reflect upon a story and a reality that are uniquely theirs and to talk about the importance of mental health.
Without fail, community members came forward to talk about their struggles. On several occasions we met individuals who were deeply emotional and said, “you came at the right time tonight; I really needed this”.
Beyond the direct impact of the movie and presentations by the artists, the Northern Tour itself and the presence of community leadership at the screenings conveyed to the youth that they are important and not forgotten, and that the world will be a better place for their active contribution.
In 2020, we organized the Red Snow Northern Tour, to promote cross-cultural learning through a powerful film that tells the story of an Gwich'in soldier in Afghanistan who is rescued by a Pashtun family. During this Tour, community members in Inuvik (NWT), Whitehorse (Yukon), Dawson City (Yukon) and Old Crow (Yukon) met with actors Mozhdah Jamalzadah (the "Oprah" of Afghanistan) and Shafin Karim (Bionic Woman, Tron 2); together, they discussed issues common to both cultures.
RECONCILIATION THROUGH PRO SPORTS
We believe that one of the most powerful ways to promote reconciliation and to help unite Canadians with their Indigenous neighbours and friends is through sport. This is why I Love First Peoples advocates with professional sporting teams so that they will bring reconciliation to the forefront of the causes they support.
We are proud to have organized the first-ever ceremonies to honour to Indigenous communities and bring nation-wide visibility to the subject of reconciliation (click images to view) at the ACC during a game between the Maple Leafs and the Oilers that was broadcast over Sportsnet. We held a similar initiative with the Buffalo Sabres.