In this stirring documentary, veteran director Alanis Obomsawin takes on the landmark legal case of First Nations Child and Family Caring Society et al. v Attorney General of Canada. This case shows how far we have yet to go as a nation in embracing, or even accepting, the idea of Truth and Reconciliation. The film chronicles the events following the 2007 filing of a human rights complaint by the FNCFCS and the Assembly of First Nations. The complaint, which is brought forward by advocate Cindy Blackstock of the FNCFCS, charges that Canada has systemically discriminated against First Nations children—both on-reserve and in the Yukon—on the basis of race and/or national or ethnic origin by providing inequitable and insufficient funding for child welfare services.
We witness the uncomfortable representatives of our federal Attorney General’s office splitting legal hairs in an effort to have the case dismissed or at least delayed. It is successful to a large degree, as the case drags on for nearly nine years. In January 2016, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal finally rules that the Government of Canada has indeed discriminated against indigenous children on-reserve and orders it to cease its discriminatory activities and reform its policies accordingly. Obomsawin captures the sometimes arcane language of the courtroom with thoughtful patience, resulting in a documentary that generates surprise and thought.
The Film will screen at the Vancouver International Film Festival on Oct 6 at 5:30PM and on Oct 13th at 12:30PM.
Tickets can be purchased here.
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