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News: Thursday, October 19th, 2017

Abbotsford's Aboriginal Film Festival

Aboriginal Film Festival in Abbotsford School District On Oct 19 featured numerous Aboriginal activities and viewing films in most of our secondary schools.  The goal of the Aboriginal Film Festival was:

To create opportunities for students, staff and the community to acknowledge and celebrate Aboriginal people in Canada through film and the arts.
To support and increase cultural pride of Aboriginal students
To create increased awareness about the history and continuous presence of Aboriginal people in Canada. 
To provide an inclusive event for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students and to strengthen relationships in the community
To provide secondary students with leadership opportunities

Some highlights at Mouat Secondary included showing Reel Injun, Yummo Comes Home and Memere Metisse and many activities leading up to and during the week including artist in residence, Freida George, master weaver.  Cyril Pierre and Joe Ginger presented “Our Story” to the students with a short documentary and their personal experiences as survivors of St. Mary’s residential school and a featured film by alumni and 2017 Role Model, River Ironeagle-Mindel.  

Robert Bateman’s new Aboriginal education teacher, Taryn MacDonald, lead the way with lessons and activities supporting the Film Festival.  Activities included eagle feather carving, spinning, weaving and drum making, ethnobotany walks, creating friendship soup and lessons on the draining of Sumas Lake and in support of their feature film “The Whale.” 

Yale Secondary, ASIA Sumas Mountain, ATSS and Bakerview all participated in our first annual Aboriginal Film Festival in Abbotsford.  This great week finished off with the Walking Forward Together: Aboriginal Education Conference on October 20 with staff, students and Aboriginal community members came together to learn and celebrate Aboriginal culture and teachings.

The team is already working on next year's Aboriginal Film Festival and looks forward to the important conversations next year's films will generate.