“A Living History of Metis Families” Film Premieres February 24 – Free Admission

(February 19, 2009 —Thunder Bay, ON)  As part of Research and Innovation Week 2009, Lakehead University is hosting a film festival that’s open to the public.  Three films will be shown: the premiere of Canada Research Chair Dr. Judy Iseke-Barnes’ film A Living History of Metis Families, as Told by Dorothy Chartrand, The Lost Tomb of Jesus, and Bloodline.

In A Living History, Metis grandmother Dorothy Chartrand tells the story of her Metis families, and the political and social change that impacted Metis lives in the 1800s until today, tracking some of Dorothy’s 25 years of research in archives and HBC and church records that lead to understanding the history of her family, and the community of St. Albert, Alberta. 

Filmmaker Judy Iseke-Barnes says, “This film is one piece of the puzzle in the history of women, specifically Metis women, in this country.  We don’t often hear stories of how these women worked to create and sustain the community structures that were the basis of this country.” 

According to Iseke-Barnes, the historical record is male dominated, and focussed on written records, as opposed to oral ones. “There is a bias embedded in the recording of history which gives more legitimacy to written records.  Those often focus on men and men’s work.  Oral history, by way of contrast, is a valid and under-valued window into the history of women, and the history of this nation.”

Iseke-Barnes has two more films in production, and a third one in the planning stages.  The first is tentatively entitled, Leadership as Service: Lives and Roles of Metis Grandmothers, and may be released as early as April 2009. The second is an animated collection of Metis/Cree stories from Tom McCallam, (White Standing Buffalo), and has a tentative release date of the fall of 2009.  The films will be sent to film festivals, the Aboriginal People’s Television Network (APTN), and the Smithsonian Institute, which has requested copies of them.  Ultimately, the films will be available on DVD.  More information is available at the accompanying website www.ourelderstories.com.

A Living History of Metis Families, as Told by Dorothy Chartrand, premieres Tuesday, February 24, at 7:00 p.m. in ATAC 2001.  A reception in the Faculty Lounge hosted by the Office of Aboriginal Initiatives will follow (cash bar). There is no charge for admission, and parking on campus is free. 


Dr. Judy Iseke-Barnes is available for media interview. For more information please contact Lisa Pelot, Communications Officer, at 343-8177, or commun@lakeheadu.ca

About Lakehead
Lakehead is a comprehensive university with a reputation for innovative programs and cutting-edge research. With a main campus located in Thunder Bay, Ontario and a campus in Orillia, Ontario, Lakehead has over 7,900 students and 2,250 faculty and staff, and is home to the west campus of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. In 2006, Research Infosource Inc. named Lakehead University Canada's Research University of the Year in the undergraduate category. For more information on Lakehead University, visit www.lakeheadu.ca


Last updated February 24, 2009

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