Critical Writing Index

The Thing About Obomsawin's Indianness: Indigenous Reality and the Burden of Education at the National Film Board of Canada

by Bruce Cornellier

Canadian Journal of Film Studies, Fall 2012, v. 21, no. 2, pp. 2-26

The relationship between education and media images is complex for First Nations Peoples, as such images are thought to be both instruments of colonial control and vehicles for decolonization. The documentary form, endowed with with a privileged relationships to the truth in the interwar period, is positioned uniquely with respect to the issue of media as a pedagogical tool. The National Film Board of Canada has, since the late 1960's, been important as a number of NFB films have directly challenged Canadian Indian policy and the unilateral sovereignty claims of the settler colonial state. This essay explores the NFB and its policies as they relate to Indian issues, and does this primarily by examining Alanis Obomsawin, her films, and the discussion surrounding them.

ITEM 2012.082 – available for viewing in the Research Centre

Videos, Artworks and Artists Cited

Kanehsatake: 270 Years of ResistanceAlanis Obomsawin