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PowWow at Duck Lake

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PowWow at Duck Lake is a powerful short documentary showing Indigenous youth resistance and emerging voices that will continue to define the landscape of Indigenous cultural and political activism for the next generation. Members of the National Youth Council, including Duke Redbird and Harold Cardinal, have a powerful exchange with a hostile white priest about the failures of the education system in relation to Indigenous people. The group tackles issues including segregated residential schools, the denial of citizenship rights, loss of language, and mass incarceration, many of which persist or continue to be stumbling blocks in the relationship between Indigenous people and the Government of Canada today. 

This film was produced as part of Challenge for Change/Société Nouvelle (CFC/SN), a groundbreaking community-engaged documentary program run by the National Film Board from 1967 to 1980. The program pioneered participatory and experimental storytelling in film and video, with a focus on the perspectives of Indigenous and marginalized communities whose voices were rarely represented in the media landscape. In 1968, the Challenge for Change program established the “Indian Film Crew,” marking the beginning of a movement of Indigenous filmmaking at the NFB and in Canada.

1967, 14 min 30 s