Listening to the Land and the People
This short video gives some sense of what it means for a white scholar to do research with an Indigenous community where respectful relationships must be foundational. Building trust takes time and requires listening and never assuming to know. The Naskapi Nation of Kawawachikamach welcomed me into their community. Chief and Council approved the idea of the film and an advisory committee of community members supported me through the process. My challenge was to listen and to listen carefully to the land and to the people in order to find a way to create a film that satisfied them. At the community feast where I showed it first, elders, children and people of all other ages watched and clapped at the end. The Chief and two of the people who worked with me, interviewing in the Naskapi language, participated in the premiere in Toronto. As an elder taught me long ago, when people take the time to teach me their truths and share their stories, I have a responsibility to pass those stories along. Always in a good way and with a good heart.