The Council of Canadians Peterborough-Kawarthas chapter screened two films — Oshkiigmong: A Place Where I Belong and To the Ends of the Earth — last night in a space shared by the Unitarian Fellowship of Peterborough and the Beth Israel Synagogue.
Oshkiigmong: A Place Where I Belong is a 32-minute film that tells the story of Oshkigmong (Curve Lake First Nation), which is located just 25 kilometres from Peterborough. As noted on a film festival website, “In this unique and vital documentary, Elders and knowledge holders share the early stories of the Michi Saagiig (Mississauga), the history of the controversial 1923 Williams treaty (which covers about 13 million acres of present-day Ontario), and the contemporary culture and challenges of this rich community.” The film is narrated by cultural archivist Anne Taylor.
To the Ends of the Earth is a 90-minute film by Vancouver-based David Lavallee. As noted on its website, “[The film] follows concerned citizens living at the frontiers of extreme oil and gas extraction, bearing witness to a global crossroads. They call for human ingenuity to rebuild society at the end of the fossil fuel era.” To the Ends of the Earth features stories from frontline Indigenous communities given the ongoing expansion of the tar sands and the approval of bitumen pipelines represent a continuing violation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Chapter activist Roy Brady tells us, “Both films were excellent and very well received. Also, we advanced our community relationship with Curve Lake First Nation, with which we have worked before (such as for the annual Water Walk and co-moderation of the past two Maude Barlow local events); and both the Unitarian Church and the local Synagogue. Our chapter is quite proud of our community outreach shown last evening.”
The Curve Lake First Nation, along with six other First Nations, is currently in negotiations with Ontario and Canada on the Williams Treaties with respect to their harvesting, hunting, fishing and trapping rights. Kelly LaRocca, Chief of Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation, says, “The Williams Treaties of 1923 form part of Canada’s dark past between the Crown and Indigenous peoples.”
For more on the work of the Peterborough-Kawarthas chapter, please see these blogs.