Café Daughter Community Screening with Filmmaker Shelley Niro and Guest

May 07, 2024

This event is organized and co-sponsored by SFU’s David Lam Centre. 

About the Film

Trailblazing Kanien’kehaka (Mohawk) filmmaker and artist Shelley Niro (The Incredible 25th Year of Mitzi Bearclaw), whose international retrospective exhibition Shelley Niro: 500 Year Itch is currently touring, directed and co-produced the film, which she adapted from Kenneth T. Williams’ play of the same name.

Café Daughter features an all-star cast including Violah Beauvais (Beans), Star Slade (Diggstown), Tom Lim (Ditched), Sera-Lys McArthur (Broken Angel), and Billy Merasty (Frontier), as a family facing extreme obstacles with love and strength.

From the Director's Statement

"Café Daughter is an inspiring story of an Indigenous Chinese girl who succeeds against all the unfair obstacles in front of her, in a world that doesn’t see her power. This is a story that is not often told and one that we don’t see enough on screen. It comes from a period of time in Canada where people from minority groups were seen as inferior, when segregation and hate crimes were rampant.

The story—one of survival and what a mother does to protect her children—is close to my heart. The issues that were depicted still happen in today’s world. Racism and exclusion are a part of Canadian society.”

Story (Synopsis)

Café Daughter follows Yvette Wong, a young Chinese-Cree girl determined to find her place in a small Saskatchewan community in the 1960s. In an effort to protect her children from discrimination, Yvette’s mother Katherine, who is a residential school survivor, has charged her with a secret—to never reveal that she is part Cree. Through tragedy, loss and insurmountable obstacles, Yvette finds her way back to her roots; in the reclamation of her identity she makes her way towards her destiny of becoming a doctor and healer.

About Dorothy Cucw-la7 Christian, PhD

Dorothy Cucw-la7 Christian, PhD is a Secwepemc and Syilx woman who works in bringing Indigenous knowledge(s) to the Academy. Before academia she delivered Indigenous stories from all over Turtle Island to the national screen (VisionTV). Dorothy has curated Indigenous programming at imagineNATIVE, and currently serves as a board member at the Indigenous Screen Office. Dr. Christian upholds “Story Sovereignty” in Indigenous storytelling!

Watch the film on demand.