Contemporary Arts, Skoden Indigenous Film Festival

IUPP student Morgan Peequaquat finds her voice and a community while organizing the Skoden Indigenous Film Festival

April 03, 2024

When Morgan Peequaquat transferred to SFU from UBC, she didn’t plan to take a class about Indigenous film or help to plan a film festival in her second semester. CA 389: Selected Topics in the Fine and Performing Arts, is a course that curates and organizes the Skoden Indigenous Film Festival each year. The course is open to any SFU student interested in learning more about Indigenous film and what goes into planning a film festival, and it was an elective available to Morgan as part of the Indigenous University Preparation Pathway (IUPP).

“I took CA 389 spontaneously and for fun; also because it's Indigenous based, and of course I want to represent and speak up for this sort of thing — it actually really helped with that, doing class discussions and being able to contribute to something bigger than just a regular classroom environment,” explains Morgan. “That was something that really appealed to me: having a voice and being able to represent all these talented filmmakers.”

IUPP is a first-year transition program for Indigenous students coming into SFU. As Morgan explains, IUPP is for students who have been out of school for a while or are hoping to get a better sense of university life in general as they transition to the next phase of their academic career. Morgan completed a year at UBC before transferring to SFU where she plans to join the Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology (BPK) program. She already knew what university life was like, but IUPP has been valuable for her in helping to make that transition smoother and find a community of fellow Indigenous students.

Morgan is part of a cohort of 15 students who took all their classes together in the fall term and now are branching out to take electives, such as CA 389 which has students planning the 6th annual Skoden Indigenous Film Festival April 6-7 at the Goldcorp Centre for the Arts.

Planning a film festival in four months is a lot of work, but Morgan says it has been a lot of fun and it has been meaningful to watch the films and discuss supplementary materials with her classmates. “Being an Indigenous student, I think I already have my background knowledge, but knowing that I can help educate my peers was pretty nice,” says Morgan.

As the leader of the Guest Services team, Morgan’s focus is on customer service, catering, and the overall experience of festival-goers — but she is quick to point out that this festival is a team effort with all of her classmates. One thing Morgan is most looking forward to is helping to facilitate Q&A sessions with some of the filmmakers. “A lot of the filmmakers are very talented, and they have a lot of great stories to tell,” says Morgan. “I'm sure they will have more to speak up about or more to tell. It’ll be really cool to get that information out of them in person.”

Learn more about the Indigenous University Preparation Pathway.

Learn more about the Skoden Indigenous Film Festival.