Carrier Sekani Family Services (CSFS) will mark National Day of Truth and Reconciliation on Thursday, Sept. 30, with the special showing of a new documentary investigating the legacy of residential schools and the connection to the overrepresentation of children in the foster care system.
Singing and drumming will be held outside of the Vancouver Convention Centre before the private screening of “For Love” narrated by Canadian singer-songwriter Shania Twain.
The documentary is described as a film of resilience and resurgence.
It was produced and written by CSFS executive director Mary Teegee and filmmaker Matt Smiley who directed.
“The horrors of residential schools are finally starting to be understood by non-Indigenous Canadians,” Teegee said in a news release.
“In this film, we meet the survivors, their families and the communities that have been devastated by the government’s child welfare system. But we also witness their resilience and the rebuilding of family bonds and rich cultures.”
The Carrier Sekani Tribal Council took the first steps in creating CSFS in the late 1980s by finding eight people to work with Carrier families in communities lacking health care services and living in poverty and constant fear of having their children being taken away.
By 1990 the independent non-profit society providing health and social services programs for Carrier and Sekani people was formed.
Over the years, CSFS has expanded to offer physician services to their 11-member nations across northern B.C.
On the documentary’s website, Teegee says the film is for all the children who did not come home from residential school and all the survivors who are living with the hurt and trauma, as well as those who lost a child to the welfare system or succumbed to the impacts of colonization.
It is also for those who have worked tirelessly and compassionately to better the lives of children and families, and those who have kept their culture and language alive through generations of cultural genocide.
“This film is for all those watching and who are committed to work with us to right the wrongs of the past. Most importantly, this film is for all our Indigenous children still in government care,” Teegee continued.
“This film is for you, for hope…for love.”