________________ CM . . . . Volume VII Number 9 . . . . January 5, 2001

The Nitinaht Chronicles.

Maurice Bulbulian (Director). Jacques Vallee (Producer).
Montreal, PQ: National Film Board of Canada, 1998.
143 min., VHS, $39.95.
Order Number: C9197 122.

Subject Headings:
Indians of North America-British Columbia-Residential Schools.
Indians, Treatment of-Canada.
Child abuse-British Columbia.

Grades 9 and up / Ages 14 and up.

Review by Katie Cook.

**1/2 /4

In 1990, a 13-year-old girl, Bonnie Edgar, accused her grandfather, a respected elder in BC's Ditadaht First Nation community on the Nitinaht lake Reserve, of sexual abuse. Over a seven-year period, the NFB had permission to chronicle the healing that had to take place in the community and the families involved as a continuing legacy of sexual, physical, and verbal abuse came to light in the community. Going back to their experiences in the residential school system that began in Canada in the 1920 and did not end in BC until the 1970s, the community explored ways to heal their pain and their problems so that future generations did not have to deal with the same pain.

      The video contains a series of interviews that take place over that seven-year period. The main people involved consented to this interview process, and the raw emotions that come out are a major strength of the video. The stories of life on this reserve in BC are not pleasant to hear but are not limited to this community. All communities can learn from the courageous process initiated in Nitinaht Lake, as a long list of brave people stepped forward and faced their mistakes and problems. The tears and the pain these people face are very real.

      This video may not be appropriate for a classroom since it contains strong language, including graphic sexual detail. However, it may be appropriate in a counseling role with students who have been abused. The road to healing that this community embarks on is remarkable, and the ability for forgiveness is their legacy of hope.

Recommended with Reservations.

Katie Cook is a social studies teacher and a teacher-librarian at the Steinbach Regional Secondary School in Steinbach, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364