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Documentary on Treaty 9 signings to premiere at TIFF

Wednesday August 20, 2014
Screenshot of the trailer for Trick or Treaty? featuring the late Mushkegowuk Grand Chief Stan Louttit. The documentary will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on Sept. 4 with a second screening scheduled for Sept. 5.

A documentary film about the signing of Treaty 9 and the First Nations’ claim they were deceived will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) on Sept. 5.

Trick or Treaty? is a feature-length documentary that profiles First Nations leaders in their quest for justice as they seek to establish dialogue with the Canadian government.

“By tracing the history of their ancestors since the signing of Treaty No. 9, these leaders aim to raise awareness about issues vital to First Nations in Canada: respect for and protection of their lands and their natural resources, and the right to hunt and fish so that their societies can prosper,” reads the synopsis.

The film is directed by acclaimed Aboriginal filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin, who is best known for directing Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance. The 82-year-old also directed The People of Kattawapiskak River, which chronicled the Attawapiskat housing crisis in 2011, and Hi-Ho Mistahey!, a film about Shannen’s Dream.

Obomsawin confirmed to Wawatay News that the late Mushkegowuk Grand Chief Stan Louttit will be featured prominently in Trick or Treaty?.

Last year, Mushkegowuk Council filed a lawsuit alleging the Ontario and federal governments made oral assurances that were not written in the treaty. The diaries of the 1905-06 treaty commissioners are the basis of the lawsuit. Louttit frequently gave
presentations on the Treaty 9 signings called “The Real Agreement as Orally Agreed to.”

Obomsawin was in Moose Factory last summer filming when Mushkegowuk hosted the James Bay Treaty – Treaty No. 9 Conference.

Trick or Treaty? will screen as part of the prestigious Masters programme at TIFF. She is the first indigenous filmmaker to have a film to be in the programme, which “is there to identify filmmakers who throughout their career really altered the landscape of cinema.”

TIFF will take place Sept. 4-14 in Toronto. Its schedule was released on Aug. 19.

The documentary will also screen on Sept. 6 during the festival.

The film’s trailer can be viewed at:

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