Spirit Bear and Children Make History Sept. 27 at 3 PM PDT
Suitable for all ages and important viewing for everyone, this event starts with a screening of the stop motion short that sees Michif animator Amanda Strong and Gitxsan child rights activist Cindy Blackstock adapt Spirit Bear’s books for the screen.
Here, they tell the tale of Spirit Bear hopping a train to Ottawa and banding together with children and animals alike to end injustice against First Nations children. In doing so, they honour the true story of Jordan River Anderson, a young Cree boy who could not leave the hospital as the Canadian government refused to pay for his at-home care because he was a First Nations child. Named in his memory, Jordan’s Principle is a child-first principle ensuring that First Nations children have the public services they need when they need them.
After the film, Strong and Blackstock will be joined in conversation by Alanis Obomsawin, the revered Abenaki documentary filmmaker whose 53rd film, Jordan River Anderson, The Messenger, won Best Canadian Documentary at last year’s VIFF. In a conversation moderated by Canada Council President Jesse Wente (Ojibwe), they will discuss Jordan’s legacy and the Caring Society’s ongoing efforts to ensure that First Nations children grow up safe, healthy and proud.