Walk-A-Mile Project close to fundraising goal
Fort William First Nation Chief Georjann Morriseau is interviewed by Michelle Derosier of Thunderstone Pictures. The interview is part of the Walk-A-Mile Film Project, a four-part documentary series that hopes to create understanding between Thunder Bay's Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal population.
The project is still seeking sponsors to reach its goal of $45,000. The series premieres at the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium on Feb. 6.
The documentary project aimed at bridging the cultural gaps in Thunder Bay is close to reaching its fundraising goal.
The Walk-A-Mile Film Project Thunder Bay 2014 is close to meeting the fundraising goal of $45,000 to complete the four-part documentary series, which is set to premiere at the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium on Feb. 6.
Last fall, award-winning director and producer Michelle Derosier of Thunderstone Pictures and the City of Thunder Bay teamed up to produce the documentary series to help create a better understanding between the city’s Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal population.
Thunder Bay’s Aboriginal Liaison team aimed to raise $45,000 and so far, sponsors have donated more than $39,000 to help finish the project.
“We’re very pleased and we’ve had a broad cross section of organizations that have contributed so far,” Thunder Bay city clerk John Hannam said.
About 25 individuals, businesses and organizations in the Thunder Bay area have contributed donations. Hannam said they are still seeking more and hope to reach their goal by the end of January.
Even if the goal is not met, Hannam added the series will still premiere on its scheduled Feb. 6 date.
Derosier said the series is in the post-production phase and will be ready for the premiere. She said many people participated in the venture and 15 people were interviewed.
“The community has really stepped up and is really engaged. Every single interviewee was very willing, opened and engaged in the process,” Derosier said. “I feel like we got a lot of really good content, perspectives and knowledge about the issues. I hope with the very good interviews I have gotten from community people, the product accomplishes what it is meant to accomplish.”
Derosier said the lack of understanding about Aboriginal issues and their role in Canadian history became apparent during filming.
“It’s a Canadian thing that we don’t know the history, the treaties and our neighbors,” she said. “But people are stepping up to the plate and want to see change and they want to know their neighbors and the history. At the end of the day that is the purpose of the doc series.”
She added that the documentary series is a tool meant to be an opportunity for all community members to have an engaging conversation and ask questions about community members and social problems.
“Our hope for this whole project has been to just start conversations and start talking,” Derosier said. “And start to look at some of the problems and the root to what some of those problems are.”
Derosier said the best part about producing the film series was building community relationships and having the opportunity for the entire community to hopefully build better relations with each other.
“I always like when I get to meet people and build relations in the community that weren’t there before. Talking about racial, land and treaty issues comes with tension,” she said. “I hope taking about these things is a good place to start for the community to move forward. Hopefully at the end of the day there is a little shift and change from it.”
To help see this project through to completion, the community is encouraged to attend the film screening at the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium to engage in a dialogue.
Those willing to sponsor can contact Joyce Hunter, the city's Aboriginal Liaison Strategy Coordinator, at 625-2007.
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