WE CAN’T MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE TWICE
DIR: ALANIS OBOMSAWIN
ABENAKI | CANADA
2016 | 165 MINS
The rights of First Nations children take centre stage in this landmark documentary, the 50th by legendary filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin. We Can’t Make the Same Mistake Twice follows the historic discrimination complaint filed against the Government of Canada in 2007 by the First Nations Child & Family Caring Society of Canada and the Assembly of First Nations. Led by the tireless and determined Cindy Blackstock, the head of the Caring Society, they argued that child and family welfare services provided to First Nations children on reserves were underfunded and inferior to those offered to other Canadian children.
Despite challenges from the federal government to have the case dismissed, the Canadian Human Rights Commission referred it to a full hearing by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, which began proceedings in 2013. Over the course of the next three years, Blackstock and her allies tenaciously fought for what they knew was right in the face of overt – and covert – challenges. Obomsawin’s deft documentary lens gives us a rare and detailed glimpse into the Canadian legal system as a remarkable story of courage, conviction and justice unfolds.
Audience members are invited to the Story-telling tent after the screening to discuss the film from within a New Zealand context. Bring a cushion with you!