Indian Horse film screening provides opportunity to receive story of residential schools

33922952_1203171036503264_1348675063007674368_o (2)On July 10, “Indian Horse” will screen at the Village Playhouse in Bancroft through a partnership with TIFF Film Circuit and according to Reverend Lynn Watson, from St. Paul’s United, this is an opportunity to hear, without judgement, stories from our shared past.

The film screening, offered in partnership by St. Paul’s United and Hospice North Hastings, will feature a special welcome from Christine Luckasavitch, of the Madaoueskarini Algonquins from Whitney, to the unceded Algonquin Territory. As the owner of Waaseyaa Consulting, an Indigenous culture and heritage consulting company, she will share some thoughts on the story told through the film as well as providing some background on the Minweyweywigaan Lodge, a Midewiwin Lodge located in Wiikwemikoong First Nation, which will receive proceeds from the special TIFF Film Circuit screening.

According to Luckasavitch, the Midewiwin Lodge is like a big family, holding and protecting traditional knowledge, language and culture. One of the “Indian Horse” film’s stars is connected to the Lodge and Luckasavitch is pleased to provide this connection and this support. She also hopes that the film will bring more compassion and a greater understanding to the history and experiences of First Nations people in Canada.

Adapted from Richard Wagamese’s award-winning novel, Stephen Campanelli’s moving drama sheds light on the dark history of Canada’s residential schools and the indomitable spirit of our nation’s Indigenous peoples.

“Indian Horse” tells a quintessentially Canadian story. Saul Indian Horse is Ojibwe, from the shores of the Winnipeg River. As a child he is separated from his family by Canada’s notorious residential school system, where he and fellow Indigenous students suffer routine physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. Teachers do their best to destroy the children’s identities, in the name of the Christian god and the Canadian state. Then, Saul discovers hockey. Only through his passion for the game and his rapidly improving skills does he glimpse a path beyond the horrors that confine him.

Rev Lynn Watson is looking forward to the screenings on July 10 and wants audience members to be willing to listen without judgement and to listen without defense.

“It’s been 30 years since the United Church’s first apology,” she says. “This is an opportunity to just receive the story and for people to connect with the ongoing dialogue and action.”

Watson says in receiving the final Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and through resolution at General Council 42, the United Church has committed itself to an agenda for reconciliation and justice. The screening of “Indian Horse” is one small step but Watson says it affirms the commitment to truth and reconciliation.

“Indian Horse” screens at the Village Playhouse in Bancroft on July 10 with shows at 4:15 and 7pm. Tickets are $10 and proceeds from this special screening will support the Midewiwin Lodge. Everyone is welcome to attend and Christine Lukasavitch and Rev. Lynn Watson will be available after the screenings if anyone wishes to discuss the film.