DOCUMENTARY SHORT | CANADA | 40 MINUTES | English
BLUEBERRY LAND: Epgomanegati
Mi’kmaq and the Harvest is a glimpse into the unique past of the Mikmaw participation in the Annual Maine Blueberry harvest, a long standing tradition in which many hundreds if not thousands have participated. It is a tradition that seems to have begun out of nowhere, yet almost every member of the Mikmaw tribe has a story of their experiences.
Our film will explore this tradition and speak with a few individuals who will guide us through their experiences in Maine. We will take them back to the old campsites as they tell us their fondest memories, stories of hardships and new experiences.
Throughout Mikmaqii, there are literally hundreds of Mikmaq who have gone and still go to Maine to take part in the annual Maine Blueberry harvest . Many of these Mikmaq are from what is now called Elsipogtog, formerly Big Cove.
Growing up on a native reserve, didn’t offer to many opportunities for one to leave and experience any other way of life, so when it came to blueberry harvest time, the family packed all the belongings and headed to Maine for the entire month of August usually, this was the only time they would ever see a world that was different than the world they grew up in.
CAST & CREDITS
Directed by Brian Francis
Brian Francis of Elsipogtog First Nation in New Brunswick, Canada is currently involved in filmmaking as a producer, director, and writer. His major concern is the survival of the Mi’kmaq and Maliseet people and the preservation of their culture.
Brian Francis has been involved in the development of an Aboriginal television production called “Eastern Tide”, an anthology series based on the life and times of Atlantic Canada’s Mi’kmaq people. In production for three seasons, “Eastern Tide” proved to be a much welcomed addition to the line up on the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN). It gavef voice to the elders and grassroots people of the Mi’kmaq Nation. Following this, Brian developed “Wabanaagig” – a 13-part documentary series for APTN, which ran for three seasons. Two of the episodes written and directed were selected to screen at the Native American Film and Video Festival in New York; and the ImagiNative Film Festival in Toronto.
Brian directed the feature documentary, “Circle of Justice”, which was shot within the walls of federal penitentiaries. The film won five international awards, screened at seventeen film festivals across the world including The Smithsonian Institute and aired on CBC, APTN and IFC. Brian also directed a feature documentary for the National Film Board of Canada called “The Sacred Sundance”.
Brian has found that the practicing of traditional Native ceremonies has been a powerful positive influence in his own life and is motivated to help share this practice and the teachings that go with it to other people. Following the footsteps of his Grandfather and his Father, Brian is a pioneer, an ambassador for his people and a protector and keeper for the Mi’kmaq language and people. He has recently became the first and only Mikmaw Interpreter for the House of Commons and the Senate in Canada.
For some years, Brian managed the aboriginal recording artists Eagle Feather.
Prior to establishing Bear Paw Productions, Brian Francis worked with the Union Of NB Indians as an Economic Development Strategic officer, travelling to various First Nations to meet with Chiefs and Ec Dev Directors to assist in developing strategies for various projects. Employed at Headquarters for Department of Indian Affairs ( AANDC) in Ottawa in the PM 2 category implementing the changes that came with Bill C-31.
Brian has worked and travelled extensively throughout Atlantic Canada to all First Nations communities in a number of capacities and has developed a good working rapport with Chiefs and community members. As well as dealing with government officials. In addition to all of this, Brian is a devoted father, a community activist, a spiritual practitioner, and a crab and lobster fisherman in the Northumberland Strait and the Bay of Fundy.
Hubert Francis, Foster Augustine
Saturday, November 4
The ticket will give access to all films
listed in the program.
Your Name Will be at ‘Will Call’
Fine Arts Theatre
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Before 4pm (2 hours Free)
After 4pm (Free)
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