Guest speaker, Ernest Webb, in Canadian Culture through Films

Last Thursday, the Canadian Culture through Films class welcomed Ernest Webb, a Cree filmmaker who has devoted his life to telling the stories of Aboriginal peoples in Canada, across all media. Ernest talked to the class about his struggles as a filmmaker, from his start in community radio to being the co-founder, executive producer and director of Rezolution Pictures, an Aboriginal film and television production company based in Montreal. Ernest discussed the portrayal of Native Americans and Native Canadians in the media. Specifically, he emphasized the desire for Aboriginal people to tell their own stories, especially since the others usually do not get it right and group all “Indians” together, without any regard for the different cultures and nations. Ernest also discussed the importance of preserving Native stories and legends heard for countless generations, along with transferring them and bringing them to the next level. Film is one way, and video games is another; Ernest is currently working on creating a game based on his grandfather’s stories. He also discussed the making of the film “Reel Injun”, the insightful, award-winning and highly entertaining documentary exploring the evolution of the image of North American Native people in cinema and television. The class then watched the first of a six part documentary series narrated, produced and directed by Ernest. The series, entitled “Down the Mighty River”, tells the story of the Rupert River on the last summer before it’s diverted for a hydroelectric project. It was an eye-opening class for the students!

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