Life on the Reserve DVD is a First Nations Films documentary that highlights the significant challenges that people living on reserves have to deal with, as well as the hope they have for their community, as told by the residents themselves. Graham Shonfield, the 19-year old documentary filmmaker, had volunteered for development work in Africa, but nothing prepared him for the impoverished conditions that he experienced first hand in Northern Ontario at Gull Bay First Nation reserve. Although Gull Bay is only one reserve in this country, it has similarities to them all.
Pipemakers: The Story of Creating the Sacred Peace Pipes DVD is a 38-minute award-winning documentary of the few remaining Native Americans who create the sacred stone Peace Pipes. Digging through 12 feet of solid rock with hand tools they mine the sacred red pipestone. With specific preparations and traditional teachings they fashion the stone into shapes of bears, eagles and other effigies. These pipemakers come from many Nations but they maintain their traditional teachings and spirituality during their efforts.
Indianer DVD written by Howie Summers explores the world of reenactors of Indigenous Peoples traditions. Indianer means a Native person in German. In Germany there is a group of people that hold so-called Powwows, where these reenactors sing and dance as if they were attending a North American style Powwow. This 20-minute documentary follows this group of Germans who believe they are truly honouring First Nations with this powwow style performance.
Vanishing Link: My Spiritual Return to the Kiowa Way DVD is the personal journey by filmmaker Donna Rowell. This 90-minute drama is an emotionally moving program about one woman's return to her spiritual roots and identity. As this story unfolds through the woman's direct experiences the viewer follows her journey and so travels deeper into her return to her teachings. Woven together with riveting stories from Elders brought to life through traditional art, dances, songs, and crafts.
First Nations Role Models is a 24-minute DVD produced by First Nations Films. The documentary explores the contributions of four people living and working in British Columbia. Renae Morrisseau narrates the film and interviews Tom Lalonde (Metis), Greg Young-Ing (Cree), Verna Kirkness (Cree), and Barb Cranmer (Kwakwaka'wakw). Greg Young-Ing is the former publisher of Theytus publishing house; Verna Kirkness is a distinguished educator; and Barb Cramner is a fillmaker. All people profiled explain their goals and inspirations as they work for First Nations in Canada.
Beat of the Drum is a 24-minute DVD produced by First Nations Films. The documentary celebrates the music of Jerry Alfred, Sandy Scofield, Chuck Sam, and Renae Morriseau. Using interviews, music videos, and live performance clips, the film relates the inspiration each musician finds in their cultural heritage.
Reclaiming Our Children, written and created by the Aboriginal Peoples Family Accord in British Columbia, is 24-minute documentary DVD explores the truth about First Nations children in care and suggests new ways of seeing the difficulties that we face. About 45% of the children in care are First Nations - why is this and what are we doing about it? A tremendous amount of positive energy has been generated around this issue as we are really talking about the future generations and the importance of working together to make sure children have better lives.
Native Women: Politics is a 24-minute DVD produced by First Nations Films. The documentary explores the complex role of British Columbia First Nations women as they pursue various aspects of self-government. The film profiles Gloria Morgan, Beth Wyss, Barb Charlie, Lavina White, Wendy Grant, Mary Williams, and Barb Cranmer. Each woman's background is described as well as her contribution to her First Nation's success.
The Medicine Wheel DVD is a 25-minute DVD produced by First Nations Films. It offers an emotional story of First Nations spirituality told in the first person by a Cree woman. Visually moving segments highlight the Sweat Lodge and Pipe Ceremonies as she explores the timelessness and the meaning of the Wheel that may be at the center of native spirituality. The viewer learns, as our host learns, the significance of one's own personal spiritual journey through life and of brotherhood and sisterhood through the teachings within the Medicine Wheel. A must see for all audiences.