Jamieson Wolf and documentaries about Attawapiskat.

So, in 2010, I co-produced a documentary about the terrible living conditions in Attawapiskat, One called “Canada: Apartheid Nation”.  The Cree people living there had a 50% homeless crisis, a school built on the largest oil spill in Ontario, a twelve year water ban, and crushing poverty.  We released the film at he Toronto Independent Film Festival, and it has since shown in select schools and theatres.  (Available for sale for $10, contact me)

We received a lot of flak for the name, but it really fits. Those who have never seen a remote, isolated reserve have no idea how well the title fit.  Believe me.

We tried the CBC and NFB for support, then for sales or broadcast, and were told no thanks.  Not interested.  Well, the NFB has now released two films about Attawapiskat by Native filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin.  Both were filmed after the RELEASE of my doc, which the NFB said didn’t interest them.  They didn’t even want a screening copy, so it wasn’t anything to do with technical quality.

Now, I’m not mad, exactly.  The situation up there, and on all remote reserves, definitely needs the exposure.  BUT… To date we haven’t even recouped the cost of making the doc. And now, with a world renowned filmmaker releasing a doc on the school, and another on the housing crisis, our doc has only it’s section on water that is still unique to us.

Anyone taking bets that the NFB has another doc in the pipeline?

In much happier news:  my dear friend Jamieson Wolf has written a guest post promoting his new (BEST SELLING!) book of poems called Talking to the Sky.  Jamieson writes with real heart, his images and insight often move me in ways more traditional poetry just fails to.

Read his essay about the Tarot here.  Now, I’ve read the tarot for about 20 years.  I know the stuff he’s talking about.  I’ve got several decks that I use depending on the reason or the reading, or just the personal preference of the person being read for,  I don’t have the Thoth deck, but most Tarot decks have the same meanings and uses.

But as usual Jamieson made me think about the cards in a way that I hadn’t.  At least not for a long while.  I had become used to them, taking them for granted.  Now I want to go and actually talk to them again.

So, all of this to say that Monday or Tuesday, Jamieson has a special blog post for me, and thus, for you.  (I’m always tempted to say “dear readers” like Agatha Christie, but I will resist)  It’s not going to be posted to his blog, it’s mine, mine I tell you!

And I’ve already seen it.  Keep a hanky close by while you read.  Trust me.

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