A drawing of a young boy with an oversized head, a character from BLA BLA, an interactive website produced by Vincent Morisset in 2011.

Press Releases & Media Kits

Launch of new website Nametau Innu: Memory and knowledge of Nitassinan

Press release


Montreal, March 24, 2011 – A new website dedicated to Innu knowledge, memory and culture launches today. Nametau innu was developed in partnership with the Virtual Museum of Canada (an initiative of the Department of Canadian Heritage) and is hosted at virtualmuseum.ca. The site brings together a wealth of information on the Innu people—their traditions, land, spiritual beliefs and practices, mythology and language. Highlighting the significance of the transmission of knowledge and skills in Innu culture, the site is a repository of living memory, a legacy passed on from elders to younger generations.

The result of close collaboration between several partners, Nametau innu came into being through the support of Canadian Heritage, the Musée régional de la Côte-Nord, the National Film Board of Canada (NFB), and Productions Manitu (Mani-utenam) inc., as well as the Virtual Museum of Canada (VMC). Videos on the site were shot by renowned filmmaker Eddy Malenfant, a founding member of Productions Manitu, a production house specializing in Innu culture and the first Aboriginal-run production company in Quebec. The company's 25-year archive of images of the Innu nation and its 12 communities is a rare and exceptional resource.

The Nametau innu site includes a total of 30 hours of video, presented in English and French, along with an illustrated glossary that includes 263 images, and a section dedicated to scientific perspectives.

Productions Manitu

Productions Manitu (Mani-utenam) inc., the originator of the Nametau innu project, is a not-for-profit corporation whose head office is located in Maliotenam. The four members of the production house are Zacharie Bellefleur, Evelyne St-Onge, Céline Bellefleur and Eddy Malenfant. For nearly 25 years, the mandate of Productions Manitu has been to disseminate the knowledge and culture of the Innu people of Quebec and Labrador. Drawing on the elders' wealth of knowledge, Productions Manitu has built a rich collection of images, interviews and experiences, with the goal of sharing them with Innu communities, Canadians and the world at large. Over the past 25 years, the company has produced more than 40 television documentaries. Recently, it has moved towards creating Innu-language educational tools for the iPod and iPad, and has supplied them to schools in 12 Innu communities. Productions Manitu films have screened numerous times at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, and at doCip, the Indigenous Peoples' Center for Documentation, Research and Information, in Geneva. The company's website is at productionmanitu.com.

The Musée régional de la Côte-Nord

The Musée régional de la Côte-Nord was founded in 1976 as the Musée des Sept-Îles, and took its current name in 1986. The preservation and promotion of Innu culture has remained at the heart of its priorities since its inception. Through close ties between museum founder André Michel and the community of Uashat Mani-Utenam, the museum has acquired hundreds of artifacts testifying to the presence of a variety of Aboriginal groups in the vast north-shore region over a period of almost 8,000 years. Through its management of the historic Vieux Poste de Traite de Sept-Îles, the museum has become an essential window onto traditional and contemporary Innu culture and the links forged over the centuries between the Innu and the people of Quebec. The creation of the Nametau innu website is a logical step in the continuation of the Museum's work. The Museum is proud of the results, and of all the hard work done by the members of its team, particularly their efforts in verifying the site's scientific content.

The Virtual Museum of Canada

The Virtual Museum of Canada is the result of a partnership with more than 1,400 Canadian heritage establishments. The virtualmuseum.ca website is a unique portal providing access to the stories and treasures housed in Canadian museums.

The National Film Board of Canada

In keeping with its long tradition of engaging with communities, the NFB, a global leader in Aboriginal filmmaking, is very happy to participate in the important Nametau innu project. Representing the lives and cultures of First Nations, Métis and Inuit people in their own terms is a core element of the NFB's mission, and lies at the heart of the organization's priorities. Canada's public film producer and distributor, the National Film Board of Canada creates social-issue documentaries, auteur animation, alternative drama and digital content that provide the world with a unique Canadian perspective. The NFB is expanding the vocabulary of 21st-century cinema and breaking new ground in form and content through community filmmaking projects, cross-platform media, programs for emerging filmmakers, stereoscopic animation – and more. It works in collaboration with creative filmmakers, digital media creators and co-producers in every region of Canada, with Aboriginal and culturally diverse communities, as well as partners around the world. Since the NFB's founding in 1939, it has created over 13,000 productions and won over 5,000 awards, including 12 Oscars and more than 90 Genies. Its NFB.ca Screening Room features almost 2,000 productions online, including high-definition and 3D films. The NFB also puts the experience of cinema into the hands of Canadians everywhere through its acclaimed mobile apps for the iPhone, iPad, and now, Canada's first film app for the Android platform.

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Stéphane Burelle, Publicist
National Film Board of Canada
Telephone: 514-283-9607
Cell: 514-242-0900
E-mail: s.burelle@nfb.ca

Christine Lebel, Communications Officer
Musée régional de la Côte-Nord
Telephone: 418-968-2070 ext. 27
E-mail: Christine.Lebel@mrcn.qc.ca