The 2019/20 season of MacEwan University’s Spirit Bear Dialogues opens with a documentary making waves in the film festival circuit. Indigenous filmmaker Dr. Tasha Hubbard presents nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up at a special screening on September 26.
The documentary explores the case of Colten Boushie, who was shot in the back of the head after entering Gerald Stanley’s property in 2016, and follows Colten’s family’s fight for justice after an all-white jury found Stanley not guilty of second-degree murder. Hubbard became the first ever Indigenous filmmaker to open the Hot Docs festival in Toronto where her documentary won the Best Canadian Documentary Award.
“We are honoured to have Tasha join us for the screening because this documentary is about sharing the racist and discriminative challenges Indigenous people face in this country,” says Terri Suntjens, director of Indigenous Initiatives and kihêw waciston Indigenous Centre. “But most importantly, it’s also about Indigenous resurgence and resilience because when we collectively work together for what is right then we create a better place for our future generations.”
After the film screening on September 26, Tasha Hubbard and guests will speak about the film as part of ahcâhk maskwa osihcikêwina, which translates to Spirit Bear Dialogues, an initiative led through kihêw waciston that focuses on Indigenous education from Indigenous voices. This first event is in collaboration with MacEwan’s Library; next month’s event, Honouring Indigenous Resilience and Resistance, is offered in partnership with MacEwan’s Office of Sexual Violence Prevention, Education and Response (OSVPER) and the Sexual Assault Centre of Edmonton (SACE).
“Our hope is that we continue to engage in partnerships with other departments and communities to bring together opportunities to listen, learn and talk collectively,” says Terri.
A look back at the Spirit Bear Dialogues
On a snowy day in late April, a bus filled with MacEwan University students and faculty pulled up to a three-story, brick building near St. Paul — a former residential school.
We acknowledge that the land on which we gather in Treaty Six Territory is the traditional gathering place for many Indigenous people. We honour and respect the history, languages, ceremonies and culture of the First Nations, Métis and Inuit who call this territory home.