My friend Sikowis (Christine) Nobiss is raising money for a documentary that’s being done about her reservation’s residential school. George Gordon First Nation had the longest running residential school, not closing until 1996.
My relative is working to raise funds for his documentary on elders and the history of the residential school at George Gordon First Nation, which is my nation. He needs to make multiple trips throughout the plains and to GGFN and set up viewing events for the documentary, which will cost around $7,000 CAD. If there are any folks in your community interested in helping him attain this goal, please let me know. Thank you.
As described in the following letter, the project was originally for a compilation of Elder’s narratives. But during the initial interviews, the findings of the 215 bodies outside the Kamloops residential school changed the direction of the documentary. To focus on the process that George Gordon’s First Nation was undertaking related to the unmarked graves or bodies at the GGFN reserve’s residential school.
March 27, 2022
This letter in regards to a request for financial support for a documentary title “They Found Us”, to support community presentations of this film that I produced.
My name is Curt Young and I a member of the George Gordon’s First Nation. I am a descendant of Mike Longman, along with my mother Longman-Young; both members of this nation. The development of this documentary was an intent for myself to learn more about my maternal familial lineage, as I had not grown up on GGFN and wanted more connections to my cultural heritage. I applied for the “Peoples Investment Grant”, while residing in Calgary and was a successful candidate. These funds were intended to financially support a compilation of Elder’s narratives, however, during the initial interviews, the findings of the 215 bodies outside of the Kamloops residential schools, inspired myself to change the direction of the documentary. I decided to focus more on the process that GGFN reserve’s undertaking of a ground search outside of the local residential school; to see if there were any unmarked graves or bodies buried there.
Over the past year, I have made three trips to GGFN to obtain footage of the community’s initial activities related to the ground search of the area. Aside from the footage of the community, I also have compiled interviews from GGFN members, and other Indigenous people, including leaders and Elders, that have shared their own narratives and experience with residential schools. The budget that I was provided by the grant I received was allocated to travel costs associated with these trips to GGFN, along with the rental of video technological equipment, necessary to create the documentary. I have spent time and effort into producing this documentary and have been promoting it through various online platforms, along with connections I have within Indigenous communities, both urban and rural. I have much interest in public showings of this documentary, particularly since June is coming up, with it being National Indigenous Peoples month. One showing that I have confirmed is the first week of June; at Fort Calgary. Although I am quite excited for the interest and opportunities, I would like to honour my home community and acknowledge the stories that are compiled in my documentary, by having the first public showing of “They Found Us” on GGFN.
In order for myself to bring the documentary to GGFN I am requesting funds to support my travel, accommodation and honorarium for traditional drummers and possibly a dancer to create a healing and culturally safe space for a community show. My first showing that I have booked for this documentary is June 4, 2022, thus, I am asking to have funds to showcase the documentary on GGFN prior to this date.