Current Productions

Carry the Fire
The Power of the Spirit
St Laurent Goes To Washington
La Voix des Mechif: Series I - 13 Parts
La Voix des Mechif: Series II - 13 Parts
The Life and Work of the Woodland Artists
The Life and Work of Daphne Odjig
Why Medicine?
Diabetes:  A Community Challenge

 

Carry the Fire

Carry the Fire is a human interest documentary profiling the life and times of Raoul McKay (1934-2014), a Métis educator, historian and film-maker. Archival and family photos, plus interviews with colleagues and family members, tell the story of his life, his activism and the events during his lifetime that changed the political, educational and legal fabric of Métis life in Manitoba and Canada.

The Power of the Spirit

Traditional teachings and family connections of Indigenous peoples, shown in this documentary, were severely disrupted by the government and church-run residential and confessional schools from the late 1800's until the middle of the next century. The Power of the Spirit tells about this heart-breaking attempt to 'take the Indian out of the child' and then shows how a renaissance, begun by Indigenous people in the 1950's and 1960's, has overcome many challenges and charted new grounds for education and spirituality, based on traditional learning. Respect for Mother Earth, for elders teachings and for traditional spirituality have become the basis for modern-day education and institutions such as Yellowquill College in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and Blue Quills College in St. Paul, Alberta. Public schools, too, have become sensitive to Indigenous teachings and spirituality. The Power of the Spirit illustrates these accomplishments.

St. Laurent Goes to Washington

In 2004, the Metis community of St. Laurent, Manitoba, had the opportunity to develop and present an exhibit for the newly created National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.  The video illustrates the development of the exhibit while describing the heritage and lifestyle of Metis people throughout their homeland in Canada.

This is an exciting and informative story about St. Laurent, a Metis community situated along the eastern shores of Lake Manitoba. The community was chosen by the Smithsonian Institute to create and display an exhibit at the National Museum of American Indians. It is a compelling story with interesting and colourful images and artifacts accompanied by video clips depicting the heritage and life of the Metis of St. Laurent, who are representative of Metis communities through-out the Great Northern Plains.

If you like to order this video, please email us at mechif@mymts.net or give us a call at (204) 885-2156

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La Voix des Mechif - Series I

This half-hour thirteen part documentary series on the heritage and life of the Mechif of western Canada has enhanced the self-image of the Mechif people. The producer was able to elicit from the participants interesting and frank stories about their views on history, about their individual challenges and successes, which made many Mechif proud of who they are. The episodes also created an understanding and appreciation of the Mechif heritage and life as never before. Samplings of those comments given orally or verbally attest to the quality and richness of the videos. Steve Racine who assisted First Voice Multimedia Inc's assembling a story on trapping at Turtle Mountain, Manitoba, stated that of all the things he has done during his life, this work was the most rewarding.

Episode 1: Origin of the Nation
Episode 2: The Land: the Metis Nation’s Homeland’s History
Episode 3: The History of the 1890 – 1950 Era
Episode 4: The History of the Metis in Transportation
Episode 5: Hunting and Fishing
Episode 6: Education, Passport to the Future
Episode 7: Arts and Crafts
Episode 8: Metis Music
Episode 9: Metis Sports
Episode 10: Social Justice
Episode 11: Nutrition and Wellness
Episode 12: Language
Episode 13: Contemporary Life

Watch Episode 8 of La voix des Mechif

LA Voix des Mechif - Series I is also available in Mechif French.

If you like to order these videos, please email us at mechif@mymts.net or give us a call at (204) 885-2156

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La Voix des Mechif - Series II

La voix des Mechif: Series II is about the life of the Mechif selected from thirteen communities in the Mechif homeland of Western Canada. For the most part, the Mechif have experienced a harsh yet satisfying life for several generations. The deliberate attempts by the Canadian government to exclude the Mechif people in the development of agriculture and manufacturing in the west in the 1880's and 90's caused poverty as has Americans and Canadians deliberately annihilating the buffalo from the Great Northern Plains. The punitive measures taken by the Canadian government against the Mechif after 1885 caused shame, poverty and alienation from the rest of society during the twentieth century. For sheer survival the Mechif relied on the value systems and social mores learned from their ancestors.

The videos will depict the common values, beliefs and social mores, which allow the Mechif to maintain their heritage today. The videos will depict how the people have managed to avoid extinction and to adjust to changing circumstances in their homeland. Each video will explore selected aspects of Mechif life today in Manitoba, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario.

Winnipeg
One of the oldest Native institutions in Winnipeg is the "Winnipeg Indian and Metis Friendship Centre" which was created in the 1950's. The center continues to serve individuals, families and children who require assistance under bleak socio-economic circumstances.

Manigotagan
This Mechif community along the east shore of Lake Winnipeg is situated at the edge of the Cambrian Shield where the environment is relatively free of contaminants until recent years when water became polluted from a variety of sources. The people make a living through their traditional occupations, such as laborers, technicians and lumbering. Lack of employment and the reduction of the fisheries and wildlife have forced people to live below the poverty line or move elsewhere to make a living.

Turtle Mountain
The people of Turtle Mountain live in an area whose environment has remained relatively unchanged for centuries. It is like an oasis in the middle of farm settlements. They manage to continue seasonal occupations, such as farming and trapping to sustain themselves in these beautiful mountains.

Grand Rapids
The Mechif have a long tradition as hunters, trappers, fishermen, and transporters of goods in this community on the northwestern shores of Lake Manitoba. In the 1870's, the provincial government developed the hydro dam at Grand Rapids. The Mechif were negatively affected by flooding, contamination of fisheries and disturbance of the fauna. There are still outstanding issues for the Mechif people and the compensation the government promised.

Fort Providence
Fort Providence is situated on the shores of the great MacKenzie River. The "River People" as they were known navigated the waters from Great Slave Lake to the Beaufort Sea. This was a lifeline in expanding trade routes via waterways across the dominion that would become Canada. The Mechif people work very hard to maintain their traditional way of life such as hunting and fishing. They also work very hard in maintaining the Mechif language.

Saskatoon
In recent years, the institutional racism of the Saskatoon judicial system and the personal racism of the city police force members drew international attention. This exposed the harsh treatment faced by Mechif and other Native peoples in the City of Saskatoon. The Mechif need to participate in the development and administration of justice for their people.

Willow Bunch
Willow Bunch is a community situated in the Wood Mountain area of southern Saskatchewan. This episod e chronicles the book by Ron Rivard and Catherine Littlejohn, "History of the Metis of Willow Bunch". The Metis have contributed to the history of Canada and this is an attempt to record that history.

Batoche
In 1885, Batoche drew international attention as the Mechif of the North Saskatchewan River basin fought for their land and national rights. Mechif do not live there anymore but the spirit lives on through Batoche Days each summer. Batoche has become one of the beacons of Mechif society in their homeland today.

LA Voix des Mechif - Series II is also available in Mechif French.

If you like to order these videos, please email us at mechif@mymts.net or give us a call at (204)885-2156

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The Life and Work of the Woodland Artists

This story, which looks at the root history of art by Native people, emphasized the bold and dedicated spirit of the Indian Group of Seven who individually and collectively raised world-wide awareness of Native art through their work. They left a lasting legacy enjoyed by the generation of artists following them and by people throughout the world who own and display their work. The art and teachings of people like Jackson Beardy, Eddy Cobiness, Alex Janvier, and Daphne Odjig shed new light on the beliefs and cultures of Native people in North America.

The video has been well received by those who viewed it prior to its Aboriginal Peoples Television Network nation-wide broadcast. The Cobiness family was particularly satisfied with the presentation of the work and life of the late Eddy Cobiness who was considered (by his peers, Odjig and Janvier) to be most admired artist.

Catherine Mattes, a Metis scholar and critic, selected this video to introduce her art course at Brandon University.

If you like to order this video, please email us at mechif@mymts.net or give us a call at (204) 885-2156

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The Life and Work of Daphne Odjig

The story features the fascinating art of Daphne Odjig, a Canadian icon, prominent in the Woodland Art tradition from the 1950's to the present.  Her work is found throughout the world

For more information on this production, please email us at mechif@mymts.net
or give us a call at (204) 885-2156

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Why Medicine?

The compelling story depicts the challenges, work and legacy of the first Indigenous students, most of whom were adult students, enrolled in the Pre-Medicine Program for Native People at the University of Manitoba.  It is an inspiring narrative of determination and commitment by the students for themselves and their communities, and the story of their impact on modern day medical practices.

If you like to order this video, please email us at mechif@mymts.net or give us a call at (204) 885-2156

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Diabetes:  A Community Challenge

The video is about efforts by First and Metis Nations to combat diabetes in their communities.  The devastation caused by diabetes and what caregivers are doing to alleviate the problem and ultimately to bring the disease under control are discussed in this informative video.

If you like to order this video, please email us at mechif@mymts.net or give us a call at (204) 885-2156

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