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DVD: A Good Day to Die - Dennis Banks & The American Indian Movement

A Good Day to Die chronicles a movement that started a revolution and inspired a nation. By recounting the life story of Dennis Banks (The Last of the Mohicand, War Party), the Native American who co-founded the American Indian Movement (AIM) in 1968 to advocate and protect the rights of American Indians, the film provides an in-depth look at the history and issues surrounding AIM's formation. From the forced assimilation of Native Americans within boarding schools, to discrimination by law enforcement authorities, to neglect by government officials responsible for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, AIM sought redress for the many grievances that its people harboured.

Banks' personal struggle culminated in major armed confrontations at Custer, South Dakota and Wounded Knee climactic flash points which saw him standing steadfast as a leader for his cause. Bittersweet and compelling, A Good Day to Die charts the rise and fall of a movement that fought for the civil rights of American Indians.

Authentic Indigenous Artwork

In Re-Print
DVD: Métis Women’s Traditional Arts Series

Grade Level: All Ages

Narrators: Penny Condon, Anna Flaminio, and Cheryl Troupe

To showcase and celebrate the artistic talents of Métis women, the Gabriel Dumont Institute produced The Métis Women’s Traditional Arts Series. This DVD contains the four-video series, which provides in-depth instruction and direction in the production of various forms of Métis cultural expression.

Aen Kroshay aen tapee avec mi gineey: Métis Hooked Rugs

Margaret Harrison, and her mother, Adeline Pelletier dite Racette, provide the viewer with step-by-step instructions on how to make a hooked rug. As well, Margaret and Adeline share their stories about living on a road allowance in the Qu’Appelle Valley in southern Saskatchewan.

Mashnikwawchikun avec la sway di fil: Métis Silk Embroidery

With instruction from Margaret Harrison, viewers have the opportunity to learn basic embroidery stitches, and receive direction in working with patterns, designs, needles, and fabrics. Margaret also shares her experiences and thoughts on the importance of preserving and promoting this traditional Métis art form.

En saencheur flechey: Métis Fingerweaving

Combining Aboriginal fingerweaving techniques with European materials, the sash remains an integral and highly symbolic aspect of Métis identity. In this video, Penny Condon provides fingerweaving lessons to grade seven and eight students from St. Frances School in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

Our Shared Inheritance: Traditional Métis Beadwork

This documentary discusses the Métis beading tradition of Cumberland House, Saskatchewan, and centres on Isabelle Impey and her efforts to preserve Métis beadwork. It also provides instructions on how to bead and make moccasins.

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Artwork

DVD: Muffins for Granny

The sad history of the Canadian government`s residential school program has had a profound effect on First Nations peoples across the country. For filmmaker Nadia McLaren, it's personal history as well; her Ojibway grandmother was forced into a residential school and its repercussions have echoed through her family. Looking to understand her loving but troubled grandmother, McLaren interviews seven First Nations elders about their experiences in residential schools. Mixing stark animated moments with human faces and home movie footage, Muffins For Granny is a raw and honest documentary about a difficult chapter in Canadian history — a chapter that, for some, is not over.

Optional French subtitles.


DVD: Native America - Tales of a Proud People

This comprehensive box set includes three documentary series, each of which explores Native American history from a unique angle and perspective. Contents include: The Great Indian Wars, Trail of Tears: A Native American Documentary Collection, and Native America - Voices From the Land.

The Great Indian Wars - 235 mins
With Coronado's expedition to the Great Plains in 1540, a series of battles between European settlers, the military and civilian forces of the US and the Native American Indians began and ultimately tens of thousands of lives were lost on both sides. The Battle of Tippicanoe, of Little Big Horn were some of the most important conflicts that led up to the last massacre, the Battle of Wounded Knee, where America's landscape would be forever changed!

Native America: Voices from the Land - 588 mins
This compelling documentary collection examines Native North-American culture, past and present, and its attempts to halt assimilation and retain native cultural traditions. Through historical and contemporary photographs, paintings, artwork, and history of America's aboriginal people is showcased across 32 unique and important features.

Trail of Tears - 263 mins
This harrowing and compelling complication of 4 award-winning documentary programs chronicles the struggles of the Native American culture from the forced relocation known as the Trail of Tears to the current issues faced by America's aboriginal people. The four documentaries include:
- Trail of Tears: Cherokee Legacy
- Black Indians: An American History
- Native American Healing in the 21st Century
- Our Spirit's Don't Speak English: Indian Boarding School

Authenticity Note: This DVD notes that it stars Native Americans.

Authentic Indigenous Artwork

DVD: Native Art of Canada

This unique style of art is brought to life in this beautifully shot video. View traditional masks and carvings, each one unique and individual. See the contemporary style of Native art, represented in beautiful paintings and stunning jewelry carved in gold, silver and sparkling diamonds.


Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Artwork

DVD: Older Than America

A woman's haunting visions reveal a Catholic priest's sinister plot to silence her mother from speaking the truth about the atrocities that took place at her Native American boarding school. A contemporary drama of suspense, Older Than America focuses on the lasting impact of the cultural genocide that occurred at such schools.

This film was inspired by events from Georgina Lightning's life, and the lives of her family members and community.

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Artwork

DVD: Rabbit Proof Fence

Rabbit-Proof Fence - featuring the Golden Globe - nominated score by Peter Gabriel - is the powerful true story of hope and survival, and has been met with international acclaim! At a time when it was Australian government policy to train aboriginal children as domestic workers and integrate then into white society, young Molly Craig decides to lead her little sister and cousin in a daring escape from their internment camp. Molly and the girls, part of what would become known as Australia's a Stolen Generation, must then elude the authorities on a dangerous 1,500-mile adventure along the rabbit-proof fence that bisects the continent and will lead them home. As shown by this outstanding motion picture, their universally touching plight and unparalleled courage are a beautiful testament to the undying strength of the human spirit.

Authenticity Note: Includes some Aboriginal Australian contributions, such as the acting of Everlyn Sampi, and is inspired by the book Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence by Doris Pilkington Garimara.  Therefore, this film has received the Authentic Indigenous Artwork label.  It is up to viewers to determine if this will work as an authentic resource for their purposes.


Authentic Indigenous Artwork

DVD: Steps in Time II - Métis Dance & Instruction
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;

Grade Level: All Ages

Choreographer: Jeanne Pelletier
“The Métis Thunder” Dancers: Jeannine Pelletier-Banin, Paul Banin,
Kim Kovacs, Wilfred Burton, Erin Kramer, Russ Fayant, Michael Racette,
Derek Racette, Megan Shiplack, and Nicole Morrow
Music: Brian Sklar, Joe Schultz, Wayne Kuntz, and Garry Lepine
Producer/Director: Don List, Birdsong Communications
Format: DVD, Approximately 70 minutes

Jeanne Pelletier’s Steps in Time II instructs people of all ages the intricate steps of the “Red River Jig”, and square dancing moves and holds. It includes three reels of the “Quadrille” and “la danse du crochet.” A conversation with Jeanne outlines her history as a dance instructor and caller, and why dance is important. Also included on this DVD is the original Steps in Time from 1989, which teaches dancers the “Duck Dance,” some basic Métis dance steps, fancy jig steps, and the “Rabbit Dance.”

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Artwork

DVD: Stryker

The raw tale of the Indian Posse street gang’s pulse-pounding fight for dominance in the drug wars of Winnipeg’s North End.

Killer cop smack-downs, hell-raising hoods, lascivious foster moms and trannies packin’ heat come together in this uproarious, unnervingly real landmark film where thug membership comes at mortal costs.

Authentic Canadian Content

DVD: The Art of Being Métis - Through the Teachings of the Canoe
Grade Levels: 8; 9; 10; 11; 12; University/College;

The Art Of Being Métis is a ten-part documentary (150 min) that tells of being Métis through the teachings of the traditional birch bark canoe. This includes the history, construct, use, as well as traditional harvesting, music, food and even healthful plants and medicines. Follow along and see a birch bark canoe envisioned, the materials harvested, all the stages of the build and finally launch. Each stage is filled with teachings about the land and the water, about taking what you need, not what you want, and respecting Mother Earth. This movie has been featured at the McMichael Art Gallery and The Montreal Indigenous Film Festival.

This documentary film follows Mahigan through all the facets of creating a traditional birch bark canoe. Much more than a how-to film, the viewer will be taken on a spiritual journey that contemplates the very close relationship the people of the Métis Nation and all indigenous peoples have, with Mother Earth. Mahigan will discuss the meaning of being Métis as well as what living a Métis lifestyle means. The viewer will also learn about the language, customs, culture, food and music of the Métis People. The Métis Nation is recognized by The United Nations.

Indigenous Peoples see themselves as an important part of nature, but not more or less important than any other creature in nature. A common respect for all living things and Mother Earth are central themes within indigenous cultures throughout the world. Indigenous peoples were the first conservationists and are leaders in earth stewardship today.

Mahigan shares many stories and teachings through the various parts of the creation of his birch bark canoe. From the selection and harvesting of the materials to the shaping of those materials into a finished canoe, viewers will learn about Métis and indigenous culture and perhaps even a little about themselves.

Divided into ten segments:
- The Blueprint for the Canoe...jiimaan (13:34 min.)
- Harvesting Birch Bark (11:03 min.)
- Harvesting Cedar (19:50 min.)
- Roots and Gum (21:24 min.)
- Finding Balance (11:24 min.)
- Challenging Times (16:41 min.)
- Back to Balance (20:47 min.)
- Patience (13:51 min.)
- The Art of the Canoe (15:38 min.)
- The Canoe is Born (10:22 min.) 

Educator Information
This edition includes PPR (Public Performance Rights) suitable for classrooms, organizations and theatres fundraisers and more.
Additional Information
DVD format, 2.01" x 2.94" | Feature-length documentary


Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Artwork

DVD: The Rez

Based on characters first introduced to international audiences by W.P. Kinsella's acclaimed collection of short stories Dance Me Outside, and further entrenched by Bruce McDonald's witty, award winning theatrical feature of the same name, THE REZ continues its unfiltered look at life on a First Nations reservation through the lives of Silas Crow (Ryan Black), Frank Fencepost (Darrell Dennis) and Sadie Maracle (Jennifer Podemski), three smart teenagers with more attitude than even they can handle. Shepherded along by executive producer Norman Jewison, featuring a theme by award-winning singer Susan Aglukark and appearances by Adam Beach (Flags of Our Fathers, Windtalkers, Dance Me Outside), THE REZ is a unique dramedy that delivers a sweet series of tales from the nineteen year old perspective of Silas as he tells of his life, his friends, his family, and the world of the Kidabanesee Reserve in northern Ontario.

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Artwork

DVD: The Story of the Rabbit Dance
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;

In this charming story for young children, Métis trapper Jacques witnesses the creation of the “Rabbit Dance.Ë® Written by Jeanne Pelletier, illustrated by J.D. Panas, and translated in Michif-Cree by Rita Flamand.

The DVD includes the motion book with an English and Michif narrations read by Jeanne Pelletier. The DVD also includes the option to go through each illustration at your own pace.

PDFs of the story in English and in Michif, with thumbnails of the illustrations to easily follow along with the DVD, are available on The Virtual Museum of Métis History and Culture: Lesson plans are included in the resource, Bringing Métis Children’s Literature to Life: Teacher Guidebook for GDI Publications available for free download at

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork

In Re-Print
DVD: Trail of Tears - A Native American Documentary Collection

Native Americans have experienced a history full of oppression and racism. Since the period when Native tribes were found on this continent at the time of its "discovery", the British and American governments disregarded Native Americans as the owners of the territory they occupied and used aggressive force to take their lands and destroy their people.

This harrowing and compelling compilation of 4 award-winning documentary programs chronicles the struggles of the Native American culture from the forced relocation known as the Trail of Tears to the current issues faced by America's aboriginal people.

Trail of Tears: Cherokee Legacy - 120 min
This two hour documentary explores one of the great historical tragedies of America's aboriginal people. In 1830, eager to gain access to lands inhabited by Native Americans, President Andrew Jackson enacted the Indian Removal Act which forced the Cherokee Nation to leave their homeland and relocate into unchartered territory. Many of these forced settlers suffered from exposure, disease and starvation and upon arriving in Indian Territory, they arrived with no past and no future.

Black Indians: An American Story - 60 min
This comprehensive look at the ancient health and healing methods of American aboriginals uncovers the invaluable contributions that Native Americans made to early frontier living, showing how many of the healing plants and herbs that early European settlers were taught by the aboriginal people are still important sources of today's modern methods of maintaining health.

Native American Healing in the 21st Century - 60 min
This award-winning feature examines a minority group that is discounted and often ignored by mainstream media. Sharing a common past, many African Americans and Native Americans have combined to create a unique culture that has meshed the traditions and fine heritage of both. Little known, little documented and often marginalized, this group has become all but invisible at the dawn of the new millennium.

Our Spirits Don't Speak English: Indian Boarding School - 60 min
This compelling documentary feature gives the Native American perspective on Indian Boarding Schools and uncovers the dark history of U.S. Government policy which took Indian children from their homes, forced them into boarding schools and enacted a policy of educating them in the ways of Western Society. This award-winning film gives a voice to the countless Indian children forced through a system designed to strip them of their Native American culture, heritage and traditions.

Authenticity Note: Includes some but limited Indigenous contributions, such as the starring of actor Wes Studi.

Authentic Indigenous Artwork

DVD: War Dance

The film centers on three children - Nancy, a 13-year-old choir singer; Rose, a 14-year-old dancer; and Dominic, a 14-year-old xylophone player. They are members of the Acholi ethnic group, living in the remote northern Uganda refugee camp of Patongo, which is under military protection from the Lord's Resistance Army, a terrorist group that has been rebelling against the government for the past two decades. In 2005, the camp's primary school won its regional music competition and headed to Kampala to participate in the annual National Music Competition. War/Dance focuses on three of the eight categories: Western choral performance, instrumental music, and traditional dance, where the students perform the Bwola, the dance of the Acholi. Over the course of three months, the film's creative team observes the three youngsters as they prepare for the event and gain their confidence enough to have them discuss the horrors they have experienced and express their individual fears, hopes, and dreams.

Authenticity Note: The Acholi are an indigenous community from northern Uganda. 

Authentic Indigenous Artwork

DVD: We Shall Remain - America Through Native Eyes

They were charismatic and forward thinking, imaginative and courageous, compassionate and resolute, and, at times, arrogant, vengeful, and reckless. For hundreds of years, Native American leaders from Massasoit, Tecumseh, and Tenskwatawa, to Major Ridge, Geronimo, and Fools Crow, valiantly resisted expulsion from their lands and fought the extinction of their culture. Sometimes, their strategies were militaristic, but more often they were diplomatic, spiritual, legal, and political.

From PBS s acclaimed history series, American Experience, in association with Native American Public Telecommunications, We Shall Remain establishes Native history as an essential part of American history. These five documentaries spanning three hundred years tell the story of pivotal moments in U.S. history from the Native American perspective, upending two-dimensional stereotypes of American Indians as simply ferocious warriors or peaceable lovers of the land.

Authentic Indigenous Artwork

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