January 12, 2012

Preview of 8th Fire

A Preview of ’8th Fire,’ CBC’s Groundbreaking Documentary Airing in JanuaryFive hundred years after the first Europeans stepped onto Turtle Island’s shores, their descendants and those of the indigenous who were living here at the time are still struggling to come together in harmony.

“You know, we aboriginals thought we were going to get a seat at the big table,” says rapper and CBC Radio producer Wab Kinew at the beginning of this trailer for 8th Fire, a groundbreaking documentary series by CBC Television set to premiere on January 12, 2012. “We got the plague—a plague of whiskey—and our parents and grandparents were molested in schools designed to kill the Indian in the child.

“So where did all of that go wrong?”

The four-part series of one hour each aims to be “a provocative, high-energy journey through aboriginal country showing you why we urgently need to fix Canada’s 500-year-old relationship with Indigenous Peoples, now mired in colonialism, conflict and denial,” 8th Fire’s Facebook page says. “Our title grows out of the Anishinaabe Seven Fires prophecy that now is the time for aboriginal peoples and the settler community to come together and build the 8th Fire of peace, justice and harmony.”
ANALYSIS | The case for aboriginal reconciliation

8th Fire: a website and documentary series by native filmmakers

By Wab Kinew
What is 8th Fire?

More than a year in the making, 8th Fire is a cross-cultural web and broadcast project, showcasing the work of native storytellers and filmmakers from across Canada.

The website, 8th Fire: Aboriginal Peoples, Canada and the way forward, currently features 18 short films by aboriginal filmmakers and more are being added every day.

A four-part television series of the same name begins Jan. 12 on CBC TV's Doc Zone, and continues on four consecutive Thursdays at 9 p.m. (9:30 NT).
Wab Kinew continues:My involvement with 8th Fire began about a year ago when I was invited, as one of about a dozen aboriginal people, to make a presentation to the producers of the show (which at that time was called, you guessed it, Reconciliation).

As a journalist, I showed the piece I had worked on in that's received the most viewer response of any story I've ever done, one I did for the launch of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.

In this video, I chronicled my father's residential school experience, traced its impact on my family and examined how we all reconciled with each other.

The big lesson I had learned, and that I shared with the producers, is that Canadians WILL empathize with aboriginal people if we let them walk a mile in our moccasins.

If we tell the stories well, they will overcome barriers of race, income or geography.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see Native Documentaries and News.

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