Sunday, November 27, 2022

Release: Westdale Cinema Offers Free Programming for National Day of Truth and Reconciliation

September 30, 2022, marks the second National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The day honours the lost children and Survivors of residential schools, their families, and communities. Public commemoration of the tragic and painful history and ongoing impacts of residential schools is a vital component of the reconciliation process. The Westdale offers free admission on September 30 to two films reflecting the intention of the day; We Were Children and nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up

In the feature film We Were Children, the profound impact of the Canadian government’s residential school system is conveyed through the eyes of two children who were forced to face hardships beyond their years. As young children, Lyna and Glen were taken from their homes and placed in church-run boarding schools, where they suffered years of physical, sexual and emotional abuse, the effects of which persist in their adult lives. We Were Children gives voice to a national tragedy and demonstrates the incredible resilience of the human spirit.

On August 9, 2016, a young Cree man named Colten Boushie died from a gunshot to the back of his head after entering Gerald Stanley’s rural property with his friends. The jury’s subsequent acquittal of Stanley captured international attention, raising questions about racism embedded within Canada’s legal system and propelling Colten’s family to national and international stages in their pursuit of justice. Sensitively directed by Tasha Hubbardnîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up weaves a profound narrative encompassing the filmmaker’s own adoption, the stark history of colonialism on the Prairies, and a vision of a future where Indigenous children can live safely on their homelands.

Both films deal with violent subject matter, and viewer discretion is advised. The Westdale invites the community to wear orange to honour the children who survived Residential Schools and those who did not.

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