In July of 2020, a group of us in Sointula began organizing online film screenings and discussions in an effort to educate ourselves and others on issues of systemic racism. Our group also includes community members from Port Hardy and Fort Rupert. We have viewed many deeply moving films so far, and have learned and shared a lot. Everyone who attends is bringing a lot of openness and honesty, and though we are very different people approaching these issues in very different ways, all discussions have felt generative and respectful, and ultimately inspiring, though sometimes (often) difficult.
This project is still ongoing, but we received funds to help us compensate filmmakers whose films we are watching and screening online. We started doing this as a part of our individual and community anti-racism efforts, so the films we watch are all chosen with the intention of educating us and our communities, and leading to further anti-racist actions.
Having some funds to compensate filmmakers has been truly wonderful and meaningful, and is much appreciated. In the case of one of the films we are watching this month, for example, the filmmaker asked that we watch the film for free and give the funds to the subject’s nonprofit – so the film we are watching is Joe Buffalo, and we gave the funds to his nonprofit Nations Skate Youth.