North Island College Presents Birth of a Family Documentary
NIC’s Global Learning Initiative hosted a screening on Thursday, November 23, of the National Film Board documentary, Birth of a Family followed by a short discussion with local elders.
The National Film Board (NFB) documentary follows the story of four siblings reuniting after being removed from their young Dene mother’s care as part of Canada’s infamous Sixties Scoop.
Betty Ann, Esther, Rosalie and Ben were four of the 20,000 Indigenous children taken from their families between 1955 and 1985, either to be adopted into white families or to live in foster care.
“Connecting with the last missing members of my family was a joyful relief, but the enormity of what we’d lost hit me hard,” said Betty Anne Adam in an article she wrote for the Saskatoon StarPhoenix. “More than ever before, I understood myself to be an Indigenous person in Canada. I realized that the broad outline of my life had been shaped by government policies. The weight of injustices against Indigenous people, current and historical, crashed down on me.”
When the siblings, now in middle age, met for the first time at the Calgary airport in September 2015, filmmaker Tasha Hubbard was there to capture the experience. She travelled with them to Banff where they spent a week getting to know each other, piecing together their shared history and reconnecting after decades apart.
Since premiering in Toronto’s Hot Docs in Toronto last May, the documentary has been shown in community screenings across the country as part of NFB’s Aabiziingwashi (Wide Awake): NFB Indigenous Cinema on Tour. It aired on CBC‐TV this past Sunday and is being screened in the Comox Valley this week as part of NIC’s Global Learning Initiative, a student‐driven project fostering awareness of global issues through partnerships with local communities and individuals.
The Global Leaning Initiative has supported nursing students’ experiences in remote communities in Uganda, Nepal and Mozambique and it continues to strengthen cultural understandings through field schools to Aboriginal and global communities.
The screening takes place in the Stan Hagen Theatre at NIC’s Comox Valley campus, Thursday, November 23, starting at 6:30 pm with doors opening at 6. Admission is by donation.