In this feature-length documentary by Alanis Obomsawin, it's the summer of 2000 and the country watches in disbelief as federal fisheries wage war on the Mi'kmaq fishermen of Burnt Church, New Brunswick. Why would officials of the Canadian government attack citizens for exercising rights that had been affirmed by the highest court in the land? Casting her cinematic and intellectual nets into history to provide context, Obomsawin delineates the complex roots of the conflict with passion and clarity, building a persuasive defence of the Mi'kmaq position.
As the confrontation between Mi’gmaq fisherman in Burnt Church, New Brunswick and federal fishery officers comes to a head, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ boats violently ram and run over the much smaller boats of the Mi’gmaq fishers. Watching the footage, I’m reminded of the brutal scene during the Oka Crisis where the Kahnawake Mohawks are stoned as they cross the Mercier bridge [see Alanis Obomsawin’s Rocks at Whiskey Trench].Gil Cardinal
From the playlist: The Aboriginal Voice: the National Film Board and Aboriginal Filmmaking through the Years
In the summer of 2000, federal fishery officers appeared to wage war on the Mi'gmaq fishermen of Burnt Church, NB. But why would the government attack citizens for exercising rights that had been affirmed by the highest court in the land?Alanis Obomsawin
From the playlist: Tribute to Alanis Obomsawin