Directed by Sonia Bonspille-Boileau
Airing on CBC-TV – Thursday, November 19 at 9pm (9:30pm NT)
Montreal, November 10, 2015. In the summer of 1990, all eyes were on the small town of Oka, Quebec. Triggered by plans to expand a golf course on ancestral land, it was a standoff between the Mohawk people of Kanehsatake, the police and eventually the army. The Oka Crisis, which lasted 78 days and drew worldwide attention, had a profound impact on Indigenous peoples in Canada. It set the tone for Indigenous resistance throughout the ‘90s, and inspired many people & communities to take action.
Director and Kanehsatake-native, Sonia Bonspille-Boileau, was just shy of 12 years old during the 1990 conflict, but vividly recollects the events of that summer. In this moving first-person documentary, Bonspille-Boileau takes us on a journey to discover how the Oka Crisis sparked the resurgence of Indigenous identity and ultimately helped change the course of Canadian history, igniting developments like Idle No More, the APTN network, successful and historic land negotiations, and ultimately, the landmark Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
For this film, Bonspille-Boileau traveled across Canada to interview Indigenous people from all walks of life whose stories can be directly traced back to the Oka Crisis, including: a warrior turned filmmaker; a woman who channeled grief into peacemaking; an Aboriginal Olympic athlete whose journey is a testament to perseverance and rising above adversity; and activists of the Idle No More movement whose roots began in Oka.
This 44-minute documentary, which will air on CBC-TV’s new documentary series, FIRSTHAND, on November 19 at 9pm (9:30pm NT), is Executive Produced by Catherine Bainbridge Christina Fon, Linda Ludwick and Ernest Webb of Rezolution Pictures, an Aboriginal-owned TV and film production company and produced by Catherine Bainbridge, Christina Fon, Linda Ludwick and Lisa Roth, the same team that produced the multiple-Gemini and Peabody Award-winning film, Reel Injun, as well as several award-winning documentaries and television series, including Mohawk Girls, Smoke Traders, Club Native and Down The Mighty River.
To complement the broadcast of The Oka Legacy, a web-exclusive short film, entitled Oka 101, shot by director Sonia Bonspille-Boileau and a timeline of the events of the Oka crisis are online at www.cbc.ca/firsthand/episodes/the-oka-legacy.
Produced by Rezolution Pictures
The documentary is developed and produced by Rezolution Pictures’ Catherine Bainbridge, Christina Fon, Linda Ludwick and Lisa Roth and executive produced by Catherine Bainbridge, Christina Fon, Linda Ludwick and Ernest Webb.
Rezolution Pictures is an award-winning film, television and interactive media production company, founded by Catherine Bainbridge and Ernest Webb, which plays a vital role in bringing cultural diversity to the North American broadcasting landscape. Since 2001 it has built itself a reputation for creating acclaimed series and one-of-a-kind productions, working with many of Canada’s best new and established talents to create unique comedy, dramatic, non-fiction and video game programming, through its sister company Minority Media.
CBC/Radio-Canada is Canada’s national public broadcaster and one of its largest cultural institutions. The Corporation is a leader in reaching Canadians on new platforms and delivers a comprehensive range of radio, television, internet, and satellite-based services. Deeply rooted in the regions, CBC/Radio-Canada is the only domestic broadcaster to offer diverse regional and cultural perspectives in English, French and eight aboriginal languages.