Transcript: Wisdom + Education = The Future | Mar 16, 1988

(music plays)

Aerial views of the St. Lawrence River in winter appear on screen.

A title reads "People Patterns, Wisdom + Education = The Future."

A song plays.

It says SMILE
IT'S IN YOUR EYES
DON'T BE AFRAID
SING
IT'S IN YOUR HEART
HEY, HEY, HEY

A man stands in the forest. He's in his mid-thirties, clean-shaven, with short brown hair. He wears a black jacket and a red and white baseball cap.

A caption appears on screen. It reads "Gordon Beardy, Chief, Muskrat Dam."

He says I THINK WHEN YOU CARE
ABOUT YOUR CHILDREN,
YOU LOOK AT
THE FUTURE.
AND WHEN YOU LOOK
AT THE FUTURE,
YOU HAVE TO
REALIZE IT'S NOT
GOING TO BE
EASY FOR THEM.
SO UNDERSTANDING WHAT
THEY HAVE TO OVERCOME,
THE HARDSHIPS THEY
ARE GOING TO FACE,
YOU ARE GOING
TO HAVE TO
LOOK AT LIFE
THE WAY IT IS.
AND YOU'RE GOING TO
HAVE TO TRAIN THEM
TO KNOW THINGS AREN'T
GOING TO BE COMING
WITHOUT WORKING
HARD FOR IT.

A man stands in a classroom. He's in his mid-thirties with shoulder-length brown hair. He wears glasses, a bluish green shirt and a gray vest.

A caption on screen reads "Roy Morris, school principal."

He says GENERATION I
WENT TO SCHOOL,
WE WERE TAUGHT
STRICTLY BY,
PARDON THE EXPRESSION,
THE WHITE TEACHERS.
AND THEY TAUGHT US
THE WHITE VALUES,
AND ALL THAT.
BASICALLY, THEY
WANTED TO EDUCATE US
SO WE COULD FUNCTION
IN THE BIG CITIES.
I THINK THAT WAS
THE MAIN THRUST.
SO ENCOURAGE THE
STUDENTS TO GO OUT
INTO THE BIG CITIES
AND STAY THERE.
AND THEY SUCCEEDED
TO AN EXTENT BECAUSE
RIGHT NOW I HAVE AUNTS,
AND I HAVE UNCLES,
AND I HAVE BROTHERS AND
SISTERS WHO ARE OUT THERE.
AND THEY TRY TO
MAKE A GO OF IT.

A female teacher stands in front of the class.

(music plays)

The song continues
THE EARTH IS IN
YOUR HANDS
HEY, HEY, HEY, HEY
HEY, HEY, HEY, HEY

Fast clips show kids playing outdoors and at school.

The song continues WORDS FROM THE LAND
YOU'RE STANDING STRONG
DREAMS IN YOUR
HANDS
ANISHINAABE
THE EARTH IS IN
YOUR HANDS
HEY, HEY, HEY, HEY
HEY, HEY, HEY, HEY

Roy sits in the classroom.

He says WHATEVER
HAPPENED TO ME?
ONE DAY, A TEACHER, I
REMEMBER SPECIFICALLY,
IN GRADE 5, I THINK
IT WAS, HIS NAME
WAS Mr. ROBERTS; OUT OF
THE BLUE, HE TOLD ME,
WHEN YOU FINISH
WITH YOUR EDUCATION,
GO BACK UP NORTH AND
WORK WITH YOUR PEOPLE.
AND THAT STUCK WITH
ME, SINCE THEN.
I THINK THAT WAS THE
TURNING POINT FOR ME.

He writes a math exercise on the board.

Then, he says OKAY.
DOLORES?
JANICE?

The students look at him.

Roy says HOW DO YOU MOVE
THE DECIMAL POINT?

He does a calculation on the board.

Roy says LIKE THAT.
AND I'LL SHOW
YOU WHY.

He explains to the kids.

Roy says IT'S IMPORTANT
THAT THE PRINCIPAL,
OR THE INDIAN TEACHER,
OR THE INDIAN PRINCIPAL
AS YOU CALL HIM, IS
WELL-FOCUSED INTO
HIS PEOPLE'S IDEAS, AND
PEOPLE'S GOALS AND THEIR
ASPIRATIONS BECAUSE YOU
CAN TAKE ANY PRINCIPLE,
OR ANY IDEA, AND YOU CAN
TEACH IT TO THE CHILD.
BUT AT THE FINAL POINT,
WHEN YOU RELEASE THAT
INFORMATION TO THAT CHILD,
YOU RELEASE YOURSELF.
AND FOR ME, WITH A
DIFFERENT BACKGROUND,
THE WAY IT COMES ACROSS,
IT COMES ACROSS
A LITTLE DIFFERENTLY.
AND THAT'S IMPORTANT.

He continues with the explanation.

He says I WENT FROM 4, AND I
SHARED IT WITH TWO PEOPLE.

A man sits in an office. He's in his mid-thirties with shoulder-length brown hair. He wears a flannel shirt.

A caption on screen reads "Garnet Angeconeb, manager, Wawatay."

He says EDUCATION HAS BEEN
A PROBLEM AREA
FOR INDIAN PEOPLE
OVER THE PAST YEARS.
AND I SAY THAT BECAUSE
THERE WEREN'T TOO MANY
INDIAN STUDENTS THAT
WERE GRADUATING OUT
OF GRADE 12,
FOR EXAMPLE.
SO WHAT DO WE
DO ABOUT THAT?

A man appears on screen. He's in his thirties, clean-shaven, with short light brown hair. He wears a dark blue shirt.

A caption appears on screen. It reads "Richard Victor, Vice-Principal, Queen Elizabeth H.S. Sioux Lookout."

He says THE NATIVE STUDENT
PROGRAM STARTED IN '74.
I CAME HERE IN '73.
AND THE SCHOOL LOOKED AT
THE PROBLEMS WE HAD
WITH THE NUMBER OF
DROPOUT RATES,
THE NUMBER OF STUDENTS THAT
DROPPED OUT OF HIGH SCHOOL
FROM NORTHERN RESERVES.
AT THAT TIME WE HAD
ABOUT 30 STUDENTS.
WE MAYBE STARTED AT THE
BEGINNING OF THE YEAR
WITH 40, BUT BY DECEMBER, WE
HAD LOST ABOUT 80 PERCENT
OF THE STUDENTS THAT
ARRIVED HERE
FROM NORTHERN
COMMUNITIES.
WE DECIDED THAT
WAS UNACCEPTABLE,
AND THEREFORE LOOKED AT
A PROGRAM THAT TRIED
TO DO THE EDUCATIONAL
SYSTEM JUSTICE,
AND TRIED TO TEACH
THEM A LITTLE BETTER
THAN WE HAD BEEN
TEACHING THEM.

Garnet says NATIVE PEOPLE HAVE TAKEN
STEPS TO MAKE SURE
THAT MORE AND MORE INDIAN
KIDS ARE GRADUATING
OUT OF GRADE 12.
ONE OF THE THINGS THEY'VE
DONE IS DEVELOP
A SPECIAL CLASSROOM
FOR NATIVE STUDENTS
HERE IN SIOUX LOOKOUT.
AND WHAT IT IS IS A
TRANSITIONAL YEAR
FOR NATIVE STUDENTS COMING
OUT OF THE NORTH,
INTO A SOUTHERN SCHOOL
LIKE HERE IN SIOUX LOOKOUT.
AND IT MAKES THE TRANSITION
FROM ONE CULTURE
TO ANOTHER SO
MUCH EASIER.

Richard says THEY TAKE COURSES AT
THE GENERAL LEVEL.
WE ARE PRESENTLY THIS
YEAR CHANGING THAT
SO SOME TAKE THE COURSE
AT THE GENERAL LEVEL,
SOME AT THE ADVANCED
LEVEL, AND THEY
RECEIVE CREDIT FOR THEM.
BUT WE'VE MODIFIED THE
COURSES TO STILL MEET
THE MINISTRY GUIDELINES,
BUT TO SPECIALIZE
THE KIND OF EDUCATION
THEY'RE RECEIVING
TO BETTER SUIT THEM.
SO FOR INSTANCE
IN THE GEOGRAPHY,
WE TALK ABOUT THE
NORTHERN RESERVES.
IN THE ENGLISH, WE DO
NATIVE MYTHS AND LEGENDS.
IN THE GUIDANCE PROGRAM,
WE LOOK AT THE CHANGES
THAT OCCUR WITH THE NATIVES
BEING ASSIMILATED
INTO THE WHITE SOCIETY,
AND FOR THE NATIVES
RETAINING NATIVE
TRADITIONS.
SO WE TAKE A CLOSER
LOOK AT THAT.

Garnet says THE SUCCESS RATES
HAVE IMPROVED
OVER THE LAST TEN YEARS.
BUT I ALSO THINK THAT
COMMUNICATIONS
HAS A LOT TO DO
WITH THAT, AS WELL.
I THINK THERE'S A LOT MORE
INFORMATION THAT IS BEING
TRANSMITTED FROM THE
SOUTH TO THE NORTHERN
COMMUNITIES VIA NEWSPAPER,
AND ALSO THROUGH
MODERN TECHNOLOGY
LIKE SATELLITE.

A female teacher writes on the board. She's in her thirties, with shoulder-length blond hair. She wears a light gray shirt and a gray skirt.

A caption on screen reads "Sharon Eros, Queen Elizabeth H.S."

She says ONE OF THE THINGS,
FIRST OF ALL,
THAT TENDS TO MAKE ALL OF
US WANT AN EDUCATION
IS SOMETHING THAT
WE'RE BORN WITH,
AND THAT'S CURIOSITY.
ALL OF YOU HAVE LITTLE
BROTHERS AND SISTERS AT HOME.
YOU KNOW THOSE LITTLE
BROTHERS AND SISTERS
START REACHING OUT FOR
THINGS, LIKE YOUR HAIR,
OR THEY TRY TO
PULL YOUR EARRING,
OR VARIOUS THINGS, THEY
WANT TO SEE ANYTHING
THAT'S A BRIGHT COLOUR.
THE MINUTE THEY CAN WALK,
THEY'RE OVER TRYING
TO TOUCH THE STOVE, AND
YOU'RE WORRIED
ABOUT THEM GETTING
THEIR HANDS BURNED.
PEOPLE ARE CURIOUS.
AND AS WE GET OLDER,
WE GET CURIOUS ABOUT
MORE AND MORE THINGS.
SO ONE OF THE THINGS THAT
EDUCATION DOES FOR US
IS IT ANSWERS A LOT
OF OUR QUESTIONS.
THAT'S ONE OF THE MAJOR
THINGS THAT IT DOES FOR US.
SO IT'S NATURAL IN
MAN TO BE CURIOUS.
NOW, THE SECOND THING WE
MIGHT SUGGEST IS THAT
YOU ARE OUT HERE TO GET
AN EDUCATION BECAUSE
YOU WANT TO PLAN
YOUR FUTURE.
YOUR PARENTS ARE CONCERNED
ABOUT YOUR FUTURE.
AND YOUR FUTURE IS A
LOT EASIER TO PLAN
IF YOU KNOW A LITTLE
BIT ABOUT YOUR PAST,
AND YOU KNOW A LITTLE BIT
ABOUT WHAT THE WORLD
OUT THERE IS LIKE.
AND ONE OF THE INTERESTING
FACTORS OF YOUR PRESENCE
IN THIS SCHOOL
PARTICULARLY,
IS THAT YOU HAD TO DECIDE,
AND POSSIBLY YOUR PARENTS
HAD TO HELP YOU DECIDE,
THAT AN EDUCATION
WAS WORTH YOUR LEAVING
YOUR HOME COMMUNITY
AND TRAVELLING A
FAIR DISTANCE,
AND LIVING AWAY
FROM HOME IN ORDER
TO HAVE AN EDUCATION.

Richard appears on screen and says THE STUDENTS THIS YEAR,
WE HAVE, FOR INSTANCE,
WE'VE GONE FROM
30 IN 1973,
LAST YEAR WE HAD 126 FROM
THE NORTHERN COMMUNITIES.
THIS YEAR WE
HAVE 105.
AND THE DECREASE IS NOT DUE
TO THE STUDENTS REQUESTING
TO COME HERE, BUT RATHER
TO THE BOARDING HOMES.
SIOUX LOOKOUT, AND THE
NUMBER OF STUDENTS
IN THIS SCHOOL ALMOST TOTALLY
DEPENDENT ON THE NUMBER
OF BOARDING HOMES WE
HAVE IN THIS COMMUNITY.
SO I THINK WHAT'S
HAPPENED IS THE NORTHERN
COMMUNITIES HAVE LOOKED AT
THIS SCHOOL AND SAID,
YES, THAT'S A PROGRAM
THAT IS SUCCESSFUL.
IT WORKS.
OUR DROPOUT RATE FOR THE
NATIVE STUDENTS IS ABOUT
THE SAME, OR SOMETIMES
EVEN A LITTLE LESS
THAN DROPOUT RATES FOR
NON-NATIVE STUDENTS.
WE'VE DRASTICALLY
CHANGED THE NUMBER
OF STUDENTS WE
LOSE HERE.
SO EVEN THOUGH THEY WANT
TO COME TO SIOUX LOOKOUT,
THEY CAN'T BECAUSE THERE'S
NO PLACE FOR THEM TO LIVE.

A group of boys play soccer.

Joan says FIRST YEAR STUDENTS
LIVE AT THE PELICAN FALLS
CENTRE OUTSIDE
SIOUX LOOKOUT.
IN LATER GRADES, STUDENTS
BOARD WITH LOCAL FAMILIES,
DEPENDING ON THE
AVAILABILITY OF ROOMS.
AN ANSWER TO THE HOUSING
PROBLEM COULD BE GROUP HOMES
BUILT AND RUN
BY THE NORTHERN BANDS.
PERHAPS A GOAL
FOR THE FUTURE.

A woman's voice says I THINK THE THING
THAT I'VE SEEN THAT REALLY
STANDS OUT IN MY MIND IS
THE STUDENTS THAT COME OUT
HAVE SO MUCH COURAGE
TO TRY NEW THINGS,
AND TO BE AWAY FROM
THEIR FAMILIES.
MOST OF THEM ARE ONLY 14
OR 15 YEARS OLD
WHEN THEY COME.
AND I THINK OF MY
OWN GROWING UP,
AND HOW THAT WOULD HAVE
BEEN TOO HARD FOR ME.
BUT THESE KIDS HAVE
A LOT OF COURAGE,
AND A LOT OF STRENGTH
TO TRY NEW THINGS.
AND I REALLY
ADMIRE THAT.
THAT'S ONE OF THE REASONS
I KEEP WORKING HERE,
I THINK.
EACH YEAR I SEE A
DIFFERENT GROUP.
AND EACH YEAR THEY GET
BETTER AND STRONGER.
AND THEY SEEM TO BE
GETTING SMARTER, TOO.
I DON'T KNOW WHY.

The woman speaking appears on screen. A bunch of girls accompanies her.

A caption on screen reads "Pat Talbot, Counsellor."

Pat is in her forties with long blond hair. She wears a white jacket.

She continues PELICAN FALLS CENTRE IS
A RESIDENCE FOR NATIVE
STUDENTS COMING DOWN
FROM THE NORTH FOR THE
FIRST TIME, GOING
INTO HIGH SCHOOL.
AND THEY COME DOWN FROM
APPROXIMATELY 18 DIFFERENT
RESERVES FROM THE
NORTHWESTERN ONTARIO.
AND THEY LIVE
AT PELICAN.
AND THEY HAVE A
SOCIAL RECREATIONAL
TUTORING LIFE OUT HERE.
AND THEY GO TO SCHOOL
DURING THE DAY IN TOWN,
AT QUEEN ELIZABETH
HIGH SCHOOL.
THEY TAKE THE SCHOOL BUS
IN, THEN THEY COME BACK.
BUT MOST OF THEIR LIFE
IS OUT AT PELICAN,
OTHER THAN THE
ACTUAL SCHOOL HOURS.

Another woman appears on screen. She's in her mid-thirties with long brown hair. She wears big glasses and a yellow shirt.

A caption reads "Linda Resch, Counsellor."

She says OKAY, WHEN I
FIRST CAME TO PELICAN,
THERE WERE TWO BOYS'
RESIDENCES AND ONE GIRLS'
RESIDENCE AT THE TIME.
WE HAD 12 GIRLS
LIVING WITH US.
AND ONE OF THE FIRST
THINGS I WANTED TO
KNOW FROM THE GIRLS
WAS WHY THEY CAME OUT?
DID THEY WANT TO?
DID THEIR PARENTS
WANT THEM TO,
OR DID THEIR TEACHERS
SAY, TRY IT,
GO TO SCHOOL, TRY IT.
AND THERE WASN'T A ONE
THAT SAID THEY CAME OUT
BECAUSE THEY WANTED TO.
NOT A ONE.
THERE WAS JUST NO DESIRE
FOR GREATER LEARNING.
THE GIRLS WANTED TO
BECOME HOUSEWIVES,
AND THAT WAS IT.
TO FULFILL THEIR
ROLE TO BE MOTHERS,
AND JUST GO BACK AND
LIVE IN THE COMMUNITY.

Now, a bunch of girls talks in a park.

Linda continues WHEN GIRLS COME OUT
NOW, THEY TELL US
THEY WANT TO GRADUATE.
AND THEN, UPON
GRADUATION, THE CAREER
THAT THEY'RE ALREADY
PLANNING TO PURSUE,
BE IT NURSING, ON
ACCOUNTANT, OR A PILOT.
WE'VE HAD A GIRL THAT'S
INTERESTED IN A PILOT.
WE'VE HAD A COUPLE TALKING
ABOUT BEING LAWYERS.
I'M HAPPY TO SAY WE SHOULD
HAVE FIVE GRADUATING
THIS YEAR FROM OUR
ALUMNI AT PELICAN.
AND THEY'RE ALL LOOKING
AT PURSUING CAREER GOALS
THAT WILL HELP THEIR OWN
SPECIFIC COMMUNITIES.
I GUESS WE CAN JUST KEEP
OUR FINGERS CROSSED
THAT THEY DO GO HOME
AND HELP OUT.

Richard appears again and says OVER THE COURSE OF THE
YEARS THAT I'VE BEEN HERE,
THE CHANGES HAVE
OCCURRED A LOT BECAUSE
OF THE UPGRADING OF
THE EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM
IN NORTHERN COMMUNITIES, A
LOT BECAUSE OF THE UPGRADING
OF THE PRIORITY OF
EDUCATION THROUGH
THE NORTHERN BANDS AND THE
CHIEFS AND THE COUNCILS,
HAVE CHANGED THEIR
VIEW OF EDUCATION.
I THINK THEY REALIZE
THE NEED FOR EDUCATION,
AND THEREFORE THE SUPPORT
WE RECEIVE FROM NORTHERN
COMMUNITIES IS
FAR GREATER NOW
THAN IT HAS BEEN
IN THE PAST.

A group of kids play outside the school building.

A man sits at a desk. Behind him, there's a rack full of books.
He is in his late thirties, with short brown hair and moustache. He wears big glasses and a white T-shit with blue sleeves.

A caption on screen reads "Keith Angel, Principal, Michikan Lake School Bearskin."

He says PARENTS AND ADULTS
IN THE COMMUNITY
ARE VERY INVOLVED IN THE
SCHOOL HERE.
WE HAVE A VERY STRONG
SCHOOL COMMITTEE.
WE HAVE A SCHOOL COMMITTEE
CHAIRMAN WHO IS A FORMER
TEACHER, AND WHO HAS
WORKED IN THE SCHOOL,
IN FACT, MARTHA
STURGEON.
AND SHE IS QUITE
GOOD AT ENCOURAGING
THE SCHOOL COMMITTEE.
AND THE SCHOOL
COMMITTEE, IN TURN,
IS QUITE GOOD
ENCOURAGING THE PARENTS
IN THE VALUES OF EDUCATION.
BEARSKIN, AGAIN, IS KIND
OF DIFFERENT THAN SOME
OF THE OTHER COMMUNITIES
WHERE WE HAVE A GREATER
SUCCESS RATE WITH OUR
CONTINUING EDUCATION
STUDENTS AFTER THEY LEAVE
HERE IN GRADE 8,
WELL, OVER THE
LAST FOUR YEARS
I HAVE BEEN HERE, EVERY
ONE OF OUR GRADE 8's
HAVE GONE OUT TO
HIGH SCHOOL.
AND I'D SAY
ABOUT 60 PERCENT,
WHICH IS QUITE
A HIGH FIGURE,
ARE STILL OUT
IN HIGH SCHOOL,
OVER A FOUR
YEAR PERIOD.

A female teacher stands in front of the kids.

She says YOU TOO?
OH, GOODNESS.
OVER ON THE
TABLE, WALTER.
BOTH SIDES.

She speaks Cree.

Keith says THE COMMON
LANGUAGE THAT YOU HEAR
IN THE PLAYGROUND, AND IN
THE SCHOOL IS ENGLISH,
AND IN CREE.
THE KIDS ARE
BASICALLY, I WOULD SAY,
OF ALL THE
COMMUNITIES I KNOW,
THEY ARE CLOSEST
TO BEING BILINGUAL.
OUT OF THE COMMUNITIES,
THEY ARE BASICALLY
FIRST LANGUAGE NATIVE,
AND FIGHTING TO MAINTAIN
THEIR ENGLISH LANGUAGE.
THERE'S NO STIGMA AGAINST
ENGLISH IN BEARSKIN.
THEY USE IT
QUITE FREELY.
THEY DON'T FEEL
UNCOMFORTABLE USING IT.

Now, Keith gives some sheets of papers to the students.

He continues THE EFFECT OF TELEVISION,
ALL IT'S DONE
THAT I CAN THINK OF,
IS JUST SORT OF
TO ENCOURAGE THAT FREE USE
OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE.
AS FAR AS THE NATIVE
LANGUAGE DYING OUT,
I COULD SEE IT
AS A POSSIBILITY,
BUT NOT WITHIN A
LONG TIME HERE.
THEY ARE QUITE PROUD
OF BEING NATIVE,
AND THEY ARE QUITE PROUD
OF THE NATIVE LANGUAGE.
WE HAVE NATIVE LANGUAGE
PROGRAM IN THE SCHOOL.
NATIVE LANGUAGE INSTRUCTOR
TEACHES THEM, WELL,
DOESN'T TEACH THEM
THEIR FIRST LANGUAGE,
BUT UPGRADES THEIR
FIRST LANGUAGE,
AND TEACHES THEM
SYLLABICS.

Keith stands next to a student's table.

He says TODAY'S READING IS ON THE
BATTLE OF SEVEN OAKS.

A girl sits on a pier. She's in her late-twenties, with curly, long brown hair. She wears big glasses, a burgundy jacket and denim trousers.

A caption on screen reads "Rosie Mosquito."

She says WELL, I FINISHED MY
ELEMENTARY EDUCATION
HERE IN BEARSKIN LAKE,
WHICH IS UP TO GRADE 8.
AND THEN I WENT ON TO
HIGH SCHOOL AFTER THAT
FOR FOUR YEARS, COMPLETED
GRADE 12, AND THEY ARE
ALL IN DIFFERENT PLACES.
MAYBE YOU'D LIKE TO KNOW
WHERE THOSE PLACES ARE?
WELL, THE FIRST YEAR
WAS IN POPLAR HILL,
WHICH IS A SCHOOL
OPERATED BY MENNONITES
JUST OUTSIDE OF RED LAKE.
AND THEN FOR GRADE 10,
I WENT TO FORT ERIE.
IN GRADE 11, I
WENT TO LISTOWEL,
WHICH IS JUST
NORTH OF LONDON.
AND GREAT 12 WAS
A BIT JUMBLED UP.
I WENT TO DRYDEN,
SIOUX LOOKOUT,
AND PICKED UP ONE
CREDIT IN WINNIPEG
TO GET MY GRADE
12 DIPLOMA.
THEN I TOOK
SEVERAL YEARS OFF.
I LIVED IN WINNIPEG FOR
A COUPLE OF THOSE YEARS.
CAME BACK, WORKED FOR
THE BAND AS A COMMUNITY
DEVELOPMENT WORKER, AND
I GUESS IT WAS ABOUT,
AT THAT TIME,
THAT I DECIDED
ON PURSUING SOME POST
SECONDARY EDUCATION.
AND I SAW MYSELF
WORKING FOR THE PEOPLE.
AND I NEVER REALLY
KNEW IN WHAT CAPACITY.
BUT I DECIDED
TO GO TO YORK.
I APPLIED, AS IS THE
NORMAL PROCEDURE,
TO SEVERAL UNIVERSITIES,
AND YORK WAS ONE OF THEM,
LAKEHEAD BEING ANOTHER.
AND I MAJORED IN
POLITICAL SCIENCE
AND DID MY THREE
YEARS THERE.
THAT WAS IN THE
FALL OF 1980,
AND I CAME BACK TO BEARSKIN
IN THE FALL OF '83?
YEAH, IT WAS IN THE
FALL OF '83.
AND I'VE BEEN
HERE SINCE THEN.
I'VE ALWAYS WORKED
FOR THE BAND,
IN DIFFERENT POSITIONS
AND CAPACITIES,
AS WELL AS WITH THE
WINDIGO TRIBAL COUNCIL.

The camera moves to the left showing the houses in the community.

Keith says BEARSKIN IS A VERY
BEAUTIFUL COMMUNITY.
AND THEY HAVE A VERY
STRONG COMMITMENT
TO THEIR EDUCATION.
AND THEY SHOULD CONTINUE
THAT STRONG ENCOURAGEMENT
OF THE YOUTH TO CONTINUE
THEIR EDUCATION.
THEY WILL NOT REMAIN
ISOLATED FOREVER,
AS MUCH AS IT WOULD BE
NICE FOR SOME PEOPLE,
IF THEY COULD,
THEN OTHER PEOPLE,
IT WOULD BE NICE IF WE
COULD INTEGRATE PEOPLE
INTO THE REST OF
CANADIAN SOCIETY.
BUT THEY ARE GOING TO
BE ABLE TO HAVE
TO COMPETE WITH THE REST
OF CANADIAN SOCIETY,
AND THE BEST WAY TO DO
THAT IS TO LEARN
THE ENEMY'S WAYS.

Now, a road covered with snow appears on screen.

Joan says WHEN WE
ARRIVED IN WEAGAMOW,
A HOCKEY TOURNAMENT
WAS IN PROGRESS.
HOCKEY IS A RELATIVELY
NEW SPORT
TO THE NORTHERN
COMMUNITIES.
SEVEN TEAMS FROM FOUR
RESERVES WERE COMPETING
FOR TOP HONOURS IN THIS
REGIONAL TOURNAMENT.

People sit in the stands looking at the players on the ice hockey rink.

[skates scraping ice]

[sticks banging]

[players' shouts]

[cheers]

[bell ringing]

The kids run to school.

Joan says INTERNATIONALLY KNOWN
ARTIST, SAUL WILLIAMS,
DEVOTES SOME OF HIS TIME,
TALENTS AND ART MATERIALS
TO THE STUDENTS IN HIS OWN
COMMUNITY OF WEAGAMOW.
AT PRESENT, THEY'RE WORKING
ON A MURAL DEPICTING
NATIVE MYTHS AND LEGENDS.

A group of kids and their teacher walks through a park.

A man sits in front of a wall with colourful drawings. He's in his thirties, clean-shaven, with short brown hair. He wears a blush green shirt.

A caption reads "Saul Williams, artist."

He says I GO AND TEACH THE
KIDS, LIKE NATIVE ART,
LIKE THIS KIND
OF STYLE OF ART,
AND NATIVE WOODLAND ART.
AND WE GO THROUGH
DIFFERENT STAGES.
LIKE WE START OFF WITH
THE PENCIL AND PAPER,
AND WE GRADUALLY
GO TO PAINTING.
BUT THE MAIN PROBLEM
IS WE DON'T HAVE ENOUGH
MATERIALS TO WORK
WITH, OR THE TIME
TO WORK WITH
THEM, YOU KNOW?
IT TAKES A WHILE FOR
THEM TO PICK IT UP
IN SOME OF
THE PLACES.
FOR INSTANCE, PORT HOPE,
SOME OF THE KIDS THERE
DIDN'T EVEN HAVE ANY
KNOWLEDGE OF LEGENDS,
WHAT LEGENDS MEANT, OR
WHAT WAS NATIVE ART.
SO IT WAS QUITE
NEW TO THEM.

(music plays)

Fast clips show Saul William's drawings. They depict animals and the creatures of the native legends. They have bright colours.

Joan says SAUL WILLIAMS WAS
BORN IN 1954
OF OJIBWAY PARENTS.
MANY OF HIS PAINTINGS HANG
IN PUBLIC GALLERIES
AND PRIVATE COLLECTIONS.
FOR THE MOST PART,
SAUL IS SELF-TAUGHT.

Saul says MOSTLY, I JUST PICK
IT UP ALONG THE WAY,
AND I'VE LEARNED OVER THE
YEARS FROM OTHER PEOPLE,
AND FROM KIDS
THEMSELVES, YOU KNOW?
I THINK THAT'S WHERE
MOST OF THE INSPIRATION
COMES FROM, IS
FROM THE KIDS.
THEY ARE ALWAYS ASKING
ME, DRAW THIS, DRAW THAT,
AND I ALWAYS TRY
AND DO IT FOR THEM.

(music plays)

Saul continues I WAS ALWAYS DRAWING IN
THE SAND OR ON THE BARK,
OR WHATEVER PIECE OF
PAPER I COULD FIND.
SO THIS ANTHROPOLOGIST
CAME INTO TOWN
AND SHE SAW MY WORK.
SO NEXT TIME HE WENT TO
TOWN, HE BROUGHT PAINTS,
BRUSHES, AND
STUFF LIKE THAT.
SO I STARTED PAINTING
ON HER WALLS AND DOOR,
AND SHE TOOK THEM APART
AND TOOK THEM HOME.
AND FIRST PUBLICITY
I GOT WAS
IN ROYAL ONTARIO
MAGAZINE, ROM, YEAH.
THAT'S HOW I
GOT STARTED.

The kids run out of school.

A boy says WATCH OUT, GUYS!

A boy grabs a sledge and says WATCH OUT, GUYS!

He slides down the hill.

[kids laughing, chattering]

[snowmobile buzzing]

A man appears on screen. He's in his forties with long brown hair tied in a tail. He wears a black jacket.

A caption reads "Frank Beardy, Special Assistant Native Issues, Ministry of Northern Development and Mines."

He says THE NATIVE PEOPLE'S
RELATIONSHIP WITH THE LAND
IS VERY IMPORTANT
TO THE SURVIVAL
OF THE CULTURE BECAUSE
WITHOUT THE LAND BASE,
OR WITHOUT - IF THEIR
PERSPECTIVE ON LAND
IS DISTORTED, THEY BECOME
NOT THE SAME PEOPLE.
AND I THINK THE PEOPLE
SHOULD ALWAYS
BE AWARE OF THAT.
THAT NATIVE PEOPLE
HAVE THAT SPECIAL
RELATIONSHIP
WITH THE LAND.
THEY LIVE OFF
THE LAND.
THEY HUNT, TRAP, FISH.
WHENEVER PEOPLE LIKE ME WANT
TO GET OUR HEADS CLEARED,
WE ALWAYS REFER TO
GOING BACK TO THE LAND
TO GET OUR HEADS
CLEARED.
IT'S VERY HARD TO
DESCRIBE THE FEELING
THAT I GET WHEN
I'M OUT ON THE LAND.
AND IT'S BEEN
PROVEN, I THINK,
WITHIN OUR SCHOOL
SYSTEM HERE,
THAT THOSE CHILDREN -
LIKE MUSKRAT DAM FAMILIES,
THEY STILL GO
OUT ON THE LAND,
AND LIVE OUT ON THE
LAND FOR THREE
OR FOUR MONTHS
OF THE YEAR.
ESPECIALLY DURING THE
SPRING, SPRING HUNT.
AND IT'S BEEN PROVEN
WITHIN OUR SCHOOL SYSTEM,
THAT THOSE CHILDREN THAT
ARE TAKEN OUT TO THE LAND
BY THEIR PARENTS, HAVE A
HIGHER DEGREE OF LEARNING
CAPABILITIES, I GUESS, AND
ARE MORE ABLE TO TAKE ON
THE CHALLENGES THAT THE
SCHOOL SYSTEM HAS TO OFFER.

Another man appears on screen. He's in his late thirties with short brown hair. He wears sunglasses, a brown jacket and purple scarf.

A caption on screen reads "Stan Beardy, Muskrat Dam."

He says WHAT WE'RE
TRYING TO DO HERE,
OR WHAT WE'RE DOING HERE IS
THAT WE ARE RUNNING
WHAT WE CALL TRY TO
TRAIN OPERATION.
AND WE HAUL BULK GOODS.
THE MAIN PURPOSE OF WHY WE
SET IT UP WAS TO PROVIDE
TRAINING FOR OUR PEOPLE,
TO CREATE SOME EMPLOYMENT,
AS WELL AS TO MOVE
GOODS AT A LOWER COST.
AND WE'VE BEEN OPERATING
THIS FOR THE LAST
FIVE YEARS AS A
BAND ENTERPRISE.

Now, fast clips show a snow fighter and some men welding and operating machinery.

Stan continues WELL, WE HAD TO
TEACH THE PEOPLE,
OUR MEN IN THE FIELD, HOW
TO OPERATE HEAVY
EQUIPMENT SAFELY, AND TO
MAINTAIN AND SERVICE
THE MACHINERY AS WELL.
ONE OF THE THINGS I'VE
NOTICED OVER THE YEARS,
WORKING WITH MY PEOPLE IS
IT'S ONLY WHEN THEY
ARE ALLOWED TO DO
THINGS THEMSELVES THAT
THEY START TO FEEL A
SENSE OF ACCOMPLISHMENT.
I FEEL THAT'S ONE OF
THE FACTORS IN MUSKRAT,
WHAT MAKES IT WORK
BECAUSE OUR WELFARE RATE
IS VERY LOW HERE, AND
WE HAVE EMPLOYMENT
THAT'S MEANINGFUL FOR
OUR PEOPLE HERE.

Roy sits in the classroom.

He says ONE THING ABOUT BEING
AN INDIAN TEACHER,
AND INDIAN PRINCIPAL,
I TRY TO LOOK AT
MY POSITION FROM
MANY ANGLES.
AND ONE POSITION THAT I'VE
ALWAYS FOUND DISTURBING
IS THAT I'M IN A BUSINESS,
IN WHICH I AM TRYING TO
KILL MY CULTURE, MY
LANGUAGE BY TEACHING
STUDENTS ENGLISH.
AND IT'S SOMETIMES - DOESN'T
SIT TOO WELL SOMETIMES.
SO WITH THAT VIEWPOINT,
I THINK, IN THE FUTURE,
WE'LL HAVE TO USE OUR
LANGUAGE AS A LANGUAGE
OF INSTRUCTION
IN SCHOOLS.
WE MAY NOT GET THE
TERMINOLOGY OR VOCABULARY
THAT VARIOUS
SUBJECTS DO POSSESS,
BUT WE CAN CERTAINLY
GET THE IDEAS ACROSS,
AND THE PRINCIPLES,
IN OUR OWN LANGUAGE.
SO THAT'S IT, THE ANSWER.

Joan says THAT'S YOUR GOAL.
THAT'S RIGHT.

A panoramic view of the area surrounding the church appears.

[congregation singing]

Roy says WE HAVE TO
RESPECT THE ELDERS
IN TERMS OF
THEIR WISDOM.
WE HAVE TO RESPECT OUR
YOUNG PEOPLE IN TERMS
OF THEIR KNOWLEDGE, AND WE
HAVE TO PUT THEM TOGETHER
IN ORDER TO WORK
TOGETHER AS PEOPLE,
AND SURVIVE AS PEOPLE.

People come out of the church.

[snowmobiles buzzing]

The end credits roll.

Original music written and performed by Leland Bell.

Stills research, Nancy Green

Cinematographers, Michael Ellis and Brian Gedge

Camera assistants, Douglas Colling and Paul Spence

Sound recordists, Ian Hendry and John Megill

Telecine transfer, Guy Nason

Editor, David Bevan

Production manager, Rodger G. Lawson

Production assistant, Mary Louise Lynde

Producer-director, Joan Reed Olsen.

A production of TVOntario, copyright The Ontario Educational Communications Authority 1986.

Watch: Wisdom + Education = The Future