Catalogue Number: NFB525447
Producer: National Film Board of Canada
Producers: Carol Geddes, Michael Doxtater, Jerry Krepakevich, Graydon McCrea
Directors: Loretta Todd
Producing Agencies: National Film Board of Canada (Montreal),Office national du film du Canada (Montreal)
Subject: Canadian History, Canadian Social Studies, Civics, Documentary, History, Indigenous Issues, Indigenous Peoples, Social Studies, World History
Grade Level: Post Secondary
Country Of Origin: Canada
Copyright Year: 1996
Running Time: 51m 15s
Closed Captions: Yes
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Although they could not be conscripted, when World War II was declared, thousands of Indigenous Canadian men and women enlisted and fought alongside their non-Indigenous countrymen. Ironically, they fought for freedom for others while being denied equality in their own country.
As a reward for fighting, the Canadian Soldier Veteran's Settlement Act allowed returning soldiers to buy land at a cheap price. However, many of the Indigenous soldiers were never offered nor told about the land entitlement. Some returned home to find the government had seized parts of their own reserve land to compensate non-Indigenous war veterans. Whole First Nations communities still mourn the loss of the thousands of acres of prime land they were forced to surrender.
With narrator Gordon Tootoosis providing an historical overview, Indigenous veterans poignantly share their unforgettable war memories and their healing process. We join them as they travel back to Europe to perform a sacred circle for friends left behind, but not forgotten, in foreign grave sites.
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