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Home / Richard Cardinal: Cry from a Diary of a Métis Child

Richard Cardinal: Cry from a Diary of a Métis Child ONF/NFB


Catalogue Number:  NFB524091
Producer:  National Film Board of Canada
Producers:  Alanis Obomsawin, Marrin Canell, Robert Verrall, Andy Thomson
Directors:  Alanis Obomsawin
Producing Agencies:  National Film Board of Canada (Montreal),Office national du film du Canada (Montreal)
Subject:  Canadian Social Issues, Canadian Social Studies, Documentary, Early Childhood Education, Family Studies/Home Economics, Fiction, First Nations Studies, Health and Medicine, Indigenous Issues, Indigenous Peoples, Social Issues, Social Studies
Language:  English
Grade Level:  Post Secondary
Country Of Origin:  Canada
Copyright Year:  1986
Running Time:  29m 10s


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Richard Cardinal died at his own hand at the age of 17, having spent most of his life in a string of foster homes and shelters across Alberta. In this short documentary, Abenaki director Alanis Obomsawin weaves excerpts from Richard’s diary into a powerful tribute to his short life.  Released in 1984 — decades before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission — the film exposed the systemic neglect and mistreatment of Indigenous children in Canada’s child welfare system. Winner of the Best Documentary Award at the 1986 American Indian Film Festival, the film screened at New York’s Museum of Modern Art in 2008 as part of an Obomsawin retrospective and continues to be shown around the world.



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