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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Case for an Aboriginal Film Commission

I received an email the other day from Troy D. Hunter, J.D. as a comment to my post on Jennifer Reid's article on the Doctrine of Discovery. But I think it is better as a stand-alone post. 

A member of the Ktunaxa first nation, Troy is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School articling as Aboriginal Rights and Title Coordinator at Secwpemc Nation Tribal Council. He is a proponent of extending the tradition of aboriginal histories in the form of story telling to other dramatic formats. (He is currently working on a play.)

Troy sent me a .pdf called "The Case for an Aboriginal Film Commission: An Education Revolution." I couldn't copy and paste the whole thing, but here are two excerpts:

...[T]he original peoples of Turtle Island (North America) have passed on their traditional knowledge from generation to generation through such means of an oral culture. However, that is but one method and there are many other methods such as the re-creation of an event as portrayed in song and dance in the west coast big houses. Likewise, in the prairies, we have a transference of history and knowledge which is remembered each year as sun dances are held with original teachings from the most-sacred, White Buffalo Calf Pipe Woman. It would be fair to say that it is an Aboriginal right to tell stories, to teach history, to transfer knowledge, to share ceremonies, not only within the distinctive society from whence knowledge originated from but also to other societies as a natural and normal progression of Indigenous law. Evidence of this cross-cultural connection of transference of knowledge that took place across Turtle Island over thousands of years can be found in our common Indian sign language, in our cultural practices that each took on their own distinctive ways, in our archaeological sites, in our rock art, in our grease trails, in our rivers and streams, and in our creation stories and oral histories, we have commonalities which could only have occurred by transferring knowledge from one cultural group to another....
... [I]t would only then be a natural progression of Aboriginal rights to use modern technology and formulas so as to pass on knowledge and wisdom to the future generations. This is also important because of the messages told from an original people’s perspective will be transferred to the hearts and minds of future generations and in doing so, our world will be richer for it.
Troy can be reached at if you would like to receive the entire document.

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