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Alanis Obomsawin

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B: August 31, 1932 in Abenaki territory in Lebanon, New Hampshire

When Alanis Obomsawin was six-months-old she returned to Canada with her parents to live in Odanak, their home reserve, on Québec’s lower south shore. It was in this close-knit community that she spent many a happy childhood moment singing songs and learning the stories of her people. In 1960 she made her professional debut as a singer in New York City. In 1967, NFB producers Joe Koenig and Bob Verrall invited the singer/storyteller to the Film Board to work as an advisor on a film about Aboriginal people. Obomsawin went on to direct films of her own, while continuing to perform and fight for justice for her people. Her first film was the 1971 short, Christmas at Moose Factory. She became one of Canada’s most distinguished filmmakers. Her film Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance won 18 international awards. A lifetime member of the Board of Directors for the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, Ms Obomsawin has also served as a Member of the Board for the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) in Vermont and National Geographic International. The asterisk (*) below indicates the 6 films that were gathered together in 1979 to form the National Film Board series, Sounds of Our People. Her film, Jordan River Anderson, The Messenger was selected to screen in the Masters program at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival.

Also see: Alanis Obomsawin: A Portrait of a First Nations Filmmaker By Adrian Harewood.
Also see: Toronto Film Critics Selects Alanis Obomsawin
Also see: Tiff Waves the Flag.
Also see: TIFF Picks – Take 2.

Features & TV Movies:
VR indicates Direct-to-Video Release

Christmas at Moose Factory (1971, short)
Amisk* (1977, short)
Mother of Many Children* (1977, short)
Cree Way* (1979, short)
Cold Journey* (1979, short)
Gabriel Goes to the City* (1979, short)
Old Crow* (1979, short)
Canada Vignettes: Wild Rice Harvest, Kenora (1979, short)

Canada Vignettes: June in Povungnituk (1980, short)
Incident at Restigouche (1984)
Richard Cardinal: Cry from a Diary of a Métis Child (1986)
Poundmaker’s Lodge: A Healing Place (1987)
A Way of Learning (1988)
No Address (1988)

Le Patro Le Prévost: 80 Years Later (1991)
Walker (1991)
Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance (1993)
My Name is Kahentiiosta (1995)
Spudwrench – Kahnawake Man (1997)

Rocks at Whiskey Trench (2000)
Is the Crown at War with Us? (2002)
For John (2003)
Our Nationhood (2003)
Sigwan (2005)
Waban-Aki: People from Where the Sun Rises (2006)
Gene Boy Came Home (2007)
Professor Norman Cornett (2009)

When All the Leaves Are Gone (2010)
The People of the Kattawapiskak River (2012)
Hi-Ho Mistahey! (2013)
Trick or Treaty? (2014)
We Can’t Make The Same Mistake Twice (2016)
Jordan River Anderson, The Messenger (2019)

Credits as a Screenwriter:

Mother of Many Children* (1977, short)
Canada Vignettes: Wild Rice Harvest, Kenora (1979, short)

No Address (1988)

Le Patro Le Prévost: 80 Years Later (1991)
Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance (1993)
My Name is Kahentiiosta (1995)
Spudwrench – Kahnawake Man (1997)

Rocks at Whiskey Trench (2000)
Is the Crown at War with Us? (2002)
Our Nationhood (2003)
Sigwan (2005)
Waban-Aki: People from Where the Sun Rises (2006)
Gene Boy Came Home (2007)
Professor Norman Cornett (2009)

When All the Leaves Are Gone (2010)
The People of the Kattawapiskak River (2012)
Trick or Treaty? (2014)
We Can’t Make The Same Mistake Twice (2016)
Our People Will Be Healed (2017)
Jordan River Anderson, The Messenger (2019)