Although they could not be conscripted, when World War II was declared, thousands of Indigenous Canadian men and women enlisted and fought alongside their non-Indigenous countrymen. Ironically, they fought for freedom for others while being denied equality in their own country.
As a reward for fighting, the Canadian Soldier Veteran's Settlement Act allowed returning soldiers to buy land at a cheap price. However, many of the Indigenous soldiers were never offered nor told about the land entitlement. Some returned home to find the government had seized parts of their own reserve land to compensate non-Indigenous war veterans. Whole First Nations communities still mourn the loss of the thousands of acres of prime land they were forced to surrender.
With narrator Gordon Tootoosis providing an historical overview, Indigenous veterans poignantly share their unforgettable war memories and their healing process. We join them as they travel back to Europe to perform a sacred circle for friends left behind, but not forgotten, in foreign grave sites.
1997, 51 min 15 s
Also available in French
Honorable Mention - Category: Social Issues
International Film and Video Festival
October 19 to 22 1998, Columbus - USA
American Indian Film and Video Competition
June 12 to 15 1997, Oklahoma City - USA
Antoinette (Nettie) Kryski Canadian Heritage Award - with a cash prize of 500$
Yorkton Film Festival
May 22 to 25 1997, Yorkton - Canada
Award - Category: Best Biography / History Documentary
March 18 to 23 1997, Toronto - Canada
Best Short Documentary Program
Annual American Indian Film Festival
November 7 to 9 1996, San Francisco - USA
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