'We Can't Make the Same Mistake Twice': Vancouver International Film Festival

Thursday, October 6, 2016 - 21:30 to Thursday, October 13, 2016 - 18:00

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.

SFU Gold Corp Centre
149 West hastings
Vancouver , BC
49° 16' 56.5392" N, 123° 6' 30.888" W
British Columbia CA
Oct, 6 5:30PM & Oct 13 12:30PM

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.