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The People of the Kattawapiskak River

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It is October 2011, and 1,700 Kattawapiskak Cree are living in dreadful conditions at minus 40 degrees in Northern Ontario, along James Bay. Their homes have crude stoves, holes in the walls and floors, and no sewage lines, heating or insulation. Alanis Obomsawin’s documentary The People of the Kattawapiskak River examines the history and causes of a housing crisis that struck this community hard. Included are personal accounts by the people here and political debates in the House of Commons. The director explains that Treaty 9, which promised a square kilometre of land to each family of five in the community, was never respected. How can the Kattawapiskak Cree overcome these shameful, slum-like conditions in a country deemed one of the world’s richest?

2012, 50 min 14 s