nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up

nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up

Tasha Hubbard
Canada
2019
98 minutes

The Wednesday, May 8 screening is part of the Justice Forum Series and will include a post-film discussion. 

The Thursday, May 9 screening is part of Rated Y for Youth Forum and will include a post-film discussion.

Few events in recent Canadian history have sparked as much media attention, outrage, and horror as the death of Colten Boushie. On August 9, 2016, Boushie, a young Cree man from the Red Pheasant First Nation, died after being shot in the head on Gerald Stanley’s farm. On February 9, 2018, Stanley was acquitted, raising profound concerns about racism embedded within the Canadian legal system, as well as the ongoing racial tensions between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities across the country.

Indigenous filmmaker and scholar Tasha Hubbard goes beyond the headlines to present a detailed examination of race relations on the prairies. Using animated sequences, Hubbard weaves historical markers such as the Frog Lake Massacre, the legacy of residential schools, and the complicated treaty relations with footage of her own family, placing the tragedy within the context of raising her son on the same homelands. Interviews with Boushie’s family members describe in harrowing detail their experiences dealing with racist threats online, all the while grieving the loss of their loved one. Despite this, Boushie’s family is relentless in their pursuit of justice as they meet with politicians, journalists, and lawyers across the country.

Stunning cinematography captures Saskatchewan’s vast plains and open skies, a poignant backdrop that echoes the distance Canadian society still needs to go before it can ever achieve genuine reconciliation with Indigenous people. In Cree, nîpawistamâsowin translates to “we (small group) will stand up for others (big group).” This phrase — and the film itself — inspires a message of hope embodied by the Boushie family’s leadership. - SC

Filmmaker

Tasha Hubbard

Dr. Tasha Hubbard is a writer, filmmaker and associate professor at the University of Alberta. She is from Peepeekisis First Nation in Treaty Four Territory and has ties to Thunderchild First Nation in Treaty Six Territory. She is also the mother of a 12-year-old son. Her academic research has focussed on Indigenous efforts to return the buffalo to the lands and Indigenous film in North America. Her first solo writing/directing project, Two Worlds Colliding (NFB), about Saskatoon’s infamous “starlight tours,” premiered at imagineNATIVE in 2004 and won the Canada Award at the Gemini Awards in 2005. In 2017, Tasha directed the NFB-produced feature documentary Birth of a Family, about a Sixties Scoop family coming together for the first time during a holiday in Banff. It premiered at Hot Docs and landed on the top-ten audience favourites list. Her latest feature documentary is nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up, a personal exploration of the cost of the death of Colten Boushie.