The Road Forward

The Road Forward

Marie Clements | 
Canada |
 2016 | 
101 minutes

The May 4 screening is the DOXA 2017 Opening Gala Screening. Tickets will include entry to our party which will feature Galiano's own DJ Richie and delicious canapés by Blue Heron Creamery and Friendship Catering. 

The May 10 screening is part of the Rated Y for Youth series (rush tickets only). Both screenings will be followed by a Filmmaker Q+A. 

Marie Clements’ musical documentary is simultaneously a piece of BC First Nations history, a call for revolution and resolve, and a portrait of a people who have retained their power and identity through community and activism.

Originally commissioned and performed at the Aboriginal Pavilion for the 2010 Olympics, The Road Forward was produced as a full-length theatrical show for the PuSh Festival in 2015. With an original score, composed by Wayne Lavallee, and featuring a powerhouse ensemble that includes Jennifer Kreisberg, Michelle St. John, Cheri Maracle, Ostwelve, Murray Porter, Russell Wallace and Shakti Hayes, The Road Forward comes to surging cinematic life from the vision of Marie Clements, and the BC & Yukon Studio of The National Film Board of Canada.

In the 1930s, when it was still illegal for Native people to meet and organize, Edwin Newman remembers community members coming together to advocate for their rights, forming the Native Brotherhood and Sisterhood. The Native Voice, Canada’s first Indigenous-run newspaper, became the collective network for First Nations communities.

From fighting for treaty rights in BC to challenging the Canadian Government, the continuum of grassroots activism took on ferocious form in the Indian Constitution Express, a protest train organized by George Manuel to battle the then-Trudeau government’s termination of Aboriginal Rights. The train left Vancouver, headed towards Ottawa, on November 24, 1980. “Everybody was onboard,” Vicki Lynne George remembers. Doreen Manuel remembers her father George Manuel calling for direct action with the words: “You don’t ask for it, you take it.”

With bold blues and rock musical breakdowns led by a cast of Indigenous musicians and performers, the film charts a path of resurgence, honouring the work of ancestors, and passing on the burden of struggle, creating a way towards genuine self-determined reconciliation. We are extremely proud to open the 2017 DOXA Festival with this powerful celebration of song and spirit. -DW

The May 4 special presentation of The Road Forward is the official launch of Aabiziingwashi (#WideAwake): NFB Indigenous Cinema on Tour! Throughout 2017, the NFB is offering its exceptional collection of 250+ Indigenous-made films to all Canadians! To book a screening in your community or for more information, please contact


Marie Clements

Marie Clements (Métis/Dene) is an award‐winning writer, director and producer of film, television, radio, new media and live performance. Her work as a filmmaker includes the award‐winning 2015 docudrama Number 14 and the 2013 short drama Pilgrims, which screened at TIFF and Telefilm Canada’s Not Short on Talent program at the Cannes Market. Her short documentary The Language of Love was an official selection at Hot Docs in 2012.  Her musical documentary The Road Forward is the DOXA 2017 Opening Gala Screening film.