Red Card chosen for NFB/ imagineNATIVE Interactive

November 4, 2016


Set 150 years in the future, Red Card will immerse viewers in a time when the Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg people have regained a large portion of their territory while much of world outside is in turmoil, leading many non-Indigenous people to apply for their “Red Card” and seek a life in the territory. This project will combine animation, film, concept art, and interactive elements to explore “Indigenous futurisms”―an optimistic envisioning of an insecure future through an Indigenous lens.

Chosen by an NFB and imagineNATIVE selection committee, Red Card will now be developed by Cara with the NFB’s acclaimed Digital Studio in Vancouver, though an intensive year-long program that will include a two-day DigiLab bringing together a team of key creative thinkers. She’ll also have a chance to observe and liaise with the NFB’s digital team on other ongoing projects.

“imagineNATIVE and the NFB enjoyed the diversity of applications received from across the country. It is clear that there is a passion to explore new storytelling mediums and expressions from the Indigenous arts community. We’re eager to continue to provide opportunities to explore, play and develop interactive-minded realizations with this dedicated stream of support,” said Daniel Northway-Frank, imagineNATIVE’s industry director.

“Cara Mumford’s Red Card imagines the Michi Saagiig Nation in a world that turns Canada’s history upside down. Our selection committee was impressed by the reflective and positive concepts of past and present and future, deeply rooted in Indigenous knowledge and forward-thinking in the realization for both physical and digital public interaction. We’re excited to work with Mumford and her collaborators on this project,” said Robert McLaughlin, executive producer of the NFB’s Digital Studio.

See full press release: http://www.imaginenative.org/red-card-nfb-imaginenative-interactive-program

 

Indigenous Women: Agency, Creativity & Strength (presentation)

November 13, 2014
 

Shaken then Stirred Up

March 20, 2014


There are some events that shake us to our core. For me, one such event happened on December 6, 1989. The Montreal Massacre.  I remember getting off the bus on a bitterly cold morning before class on December 7 (I didn’t have a TV to see the news the night before). I remember a group of women huddled together in front of the newspaper boxes, reading one paper, silent with shock. 

“Man kills 14 women in Montreal.”

But this is Canada! I thought, back when I thought that made a difference. Spree killings don’t happen here, my naïveté insisted. And all of the victims were women? That doesn’t happen in Canada, either… Right? Little did I know that a man in British Columbia was about to start an even more haunting killing spree targeting women that would last for over 20 years.

I was a second year science student at McMaster University in 1989, feeling safe in the confines of the academy, the same age as the majority of the women killed at L’École Polytechnique, a school for engineering… I had almost studied engineering. My ability to identify with these women ripped away any illusion I’d had that I was safe as a woman in Canada in the present day.

On February 26, 2014, after more than 20 years of feminist activism, environmental activism and Indigenous activism, my ability to identify with Loretta Saunders ripped me apart again. 

As Tara Williamson pointed out, being urban, educated and light-skinned didn’t protect Loretta. I am ashamed to acknowledge that, on some level, I thought it would protect me. I hadn’t realized that any illusion of safety had crept back into my life somewhere, somehow; I only discovered it was there as it was ripped away again.

There is no safety for any of us until real action is taken for missing and murdered Indigenous women.

I used to be naïve enough to think that if we had a government less hostile to Indigenous people, things might be different. If we had a national inquiry with sufficient scope to lay the facts bare for all Canadians, things would be different. If that inquiry had the authority to not just make recommendations but ensure they’re implemented, that we would be well on our way to solutions.

Solutions that include reinstating sustained funding for community-led victim services and advocacy, reinstating funding to maintain a national database on missing Indigenous women, assigning funding to “cold cases” because too many of these cases get closed before they are even investigated. Solutions that include creating national and provincial standards for missing persons investigations developed in partnership with Aboriginal groups, communities and families of the missing and murdered women. It is also crucial to admit that the racism and sexism that pervades Canadian society is mirrored in law enforcement, resulting in discriminatory policies and practices. Strategies to effectively eradicate those prejudices must be developedthere should be zero tolerance for racism and sexism in policing. And I’m sure the advocates who work directly with these issues could give you even more ideas.

But, as Leanne Simpson pointed out: what the colonizers have always been trying to figure out is “How do you extract natural resources from the land when the peoples whose territory you’re on believe that those plant, animal and minerals have both spirit and therefore agency?”

When I read those words, it all came into focus. 

Until Canada stops being hell bent on extracting every fossil fuel and every natural resource from this land and invests, instead, in the abundant intellectual resources we have in the scientific community and in Indigenous knowledge that could provide tangible solutions for a clean and sustainable future globally… Until Canada embraces that future, it’s not in the government’s interests to admit that the ongoing issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women even exists 

It’s a disturbing realization that leaves me hollow inside. But from the depth of that hollow place, a resolve stirs inside me. A call to action.

The connection between resource extraction and violence against Indigenous women has never been clearer to me, and I will be fighting that much harder to end both. In Loretta’s name, in Bella’s name, in the name of all our sisters…

#ItEndsHere

This post was inspired by the #ItEndsHere series published on the Indigenous Nationhood Movement blog. Read the full series with an introduction by Lee Maracle here

 
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