Indigenous Spotlight

Young people and traditional ways take the spotlight, inviting respect for both the past and this present moment.

Themes: elder wisdom, family, friendship, connection to nature, pride in heritage and tradition

Recommended for grades 4-7 

Note that the following films have subtitles: Awa, My CultureNow is the Time

In Rapid Lake, Quebec, Darius Matchewan plays his drum and spends most of his days riding his bike with his friends. In this intimate and self-directed doc we are offered a glimpse into how the Algonquin culture brings Darius joy.

Over the span of one day, Awa is confronted with an opportunity to explore a powerful connection beckoning her to the bush. Honouring her ailing grandmother, Awa ventures into New Zealand’s dense woods to find Rongoa, a traditional medicine.

Eva Kaukai and Manon Chamberland practice the Inuk art of throat singing in their small village of Kangirsuk. Their hypnotic voices document the four seasons of this Arctic land.

Two Wotjobaluk Elders have begun teaching their grandson the vitally important lessons that will equip him with the necessary tools to maintain the survival of his culture. His classroom is the expansive country of his ancestors. Is he ready for this challenge, and will he know what to do when the time comes?

In this youth and Elder documented portrait of Kugluktuk, Nunavut, Inuit students speak to what their culture means to them in celebration of their traditions, culture, and landscape.

When internationally renowned Haida carver Robert Davidson was only 22, he impacted the history of his people forever. With help from his family, he carved a totem pole in Old Massett. It was the first in almost a century. On the 50th anniversary of the pole’s raising, Haida filmmaker and R2R award winning alumnus, Christopher Auchter revisits that day in 1969, when the entire village and three generations of Eagle and Raven clan gathered to celebrate the event that signaled the rebirth of the Haida spirit. Resplendent with animation, emotional interviews, and original archival footage, Now Is the Time captures the iconic pole raising in the old way.

To register your class for R2R Online Festival 2020: Fill out this online form. If you have any questions, email education[at]


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