Happy Nunavut Day – Important and Inspiring Documentaries to Watch

For over 20 years One World Film Festival has been dedicated to sharing the stories of the unheard and often overlooked. We strive to expand awareness of global issues and facilitate dialogue between communities, while educating people and inspiring them to take action and get involved in their own way. Today we join in celebrating Nunavut Day. Nunavut Day commemorates two highly significant events. The first took place on July 9th, 1993 when the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement Act was passed, thereby establishing the territory of Nunavut. The second event occurred on April 1, 1999 when Nunavut officially separated from the Northwest Territories. In celebration of Nunavut Day we present this inspiring collection of documentaries screened at the One World Film Festival that discuss Indigenous issues.

Directed by Christian Mathieu Fournier | Canada | 2015 | 76 min
Nallua tells the story of two survivors of a tragedy suffered by a community of Inuit peoples in Canada’s Arctic in 1943. Their testimonies of loss and longed-for return to their ancestral lands speak to a collective legacy of searching for answers and a hopeful bridge between past and future.

An Object that has Spirit
Directed by Howard Adler | Canada | 2015 | 26:43 min
Five indigenous artists from across Canada come together in Ottawa’s Wabano Centre to design a heritage maker to honor Indian residential school survivors. The artists are faced with an enormous task, and what is originally conceived as a heritage plaque becomes an object that has spirit.

Filmmaker Howard Adler (right) shows off the heritage marker, with filmmakers Jennifer Robbins (Director of Chajil Ch’upup) and Mar Y Sol (Director of Sayachapis) (left to right), at the 2015 One World Film Festival.

Honour Your Word
Directed by Martha Stiegman | Canada | 2013 | 59 min
Indigenous activists in Canada are raising awareness and forging alliances with communities across Canada and around the world and demanding respect for indigenous rights. Martha Stiegman’s documentary takes us behind the barricades of Barriers Lake, where an inspiring Algonquin first nation is working to make sure that governments honour their word.

Available on demand

After the Last River
Directed by Victoria Lean | Canada | 2015 | 88 min
Downstream from a De Beers diamond mine, Attawapiskat is a community struggling with urgent environmental issues and an inability to directly benefit from resource revenues. Filmed over 5 years, AFTER THE LAST RIVER is a point of view documentary that follows Attawapiskat’s journey from obscurity and into the international spotlight during the protests of Idle No More.

Buy or Rent the film

Haida Gwaii: On The Edge Of The World
Directed by Charles Wilkinson | Canada | 2015 | 74 min
In this irreverent, intimate, funny, beautiful, occasionally troubling but always intriguing story of Canada’s world renowned archipelago-Haida Gwaii- a first nations community and their non-native neighbours are winning key victories in the campaign to combat the urgent global threats facing us all.

When Two Worlds Collide
Directed by Heidi Brandenburg and Mathew Orzel | Peru | 2016 | 100 min
In this extraordinary exposé, awarded a special jury prize at the Sundance Film Festival, directors Heidi Brandenburg and Mathew Orzel bring us to the frontlines of political and environmental struggles in the heart of the Amazonian rainforest—a clash between Peruvian government and economic elites bent on resource exploitation and indigenous peoples, led by courageous activists, fighting for their rights and the future of the Amazon.
Presented in partnership with MiningWatch Canada.

Available on Netflix

Rigoberta Menchú: Daughter of the Maya
Screened at the 2016 One World Film Festival
Directed by Dawn Gifford Engle | U.S., Guatemala | 2016 | 61 min
The courage and tenacity of the indigenous Maya people of Guatemala shines through in director Dawn Gifford Engle’s beautiful, tragic, and ultimately triumphant story of how one woman, Rigoberta Menchú Tum, recipient of the 1992 Nobel Peace Prize, overcame poverty and violence to become a global defender of human rights. Presented in partnership with the Nobel Women’s Initiative.

Available on Google Play