Indigenous Literature and Film Festival

Friday, October 20, 2016 | 1:30 PM —7:30 PM

SFU Harbour Centre | 1700 Labatt Hall

Register now.

Schedule of Events:

1:30-2:45: Keynote Eldon Yellowhorn: Stories of the Once-Were-People

Akaitapiiwa is the Blackfoot term for ancestors and its literal translation is the ‘once-were people’. The Blackfoot phrase niitakksikaitapitsinikii means ‘I will tell stories of ancient times’. When these old stories are retold today we accept that they come to us from time immemorial. This implies that they are immune to chronology. Since the days of Franz Boas, anthropologists too have accepted that myths exist outside of time, that mythology is better conceived as a psychological device rather than a record of the past. My studies in archaeology brought me back to those old Blackfoot stories and I decided to revisit that idea of time immemorial. I began to explore Blackfoot mythology to see if I could use those old stories to interpret the archaeological record of the northern plains. I wondered if I could use them to construct theories to explain the origin of archaeological sites and if so then I could determine the antiquity of those old stories. I began with the premise that oral narratives were inspired by lived experience and from my studies I discovered that time immemorial is vulnerable to chronology. My presentation will reveal the insights I gained about Blackfoot oral narratives and exactly how old are those olden days.

2:45-3:00: Health Break

3:00-5:00: Presentation & Viewing

The Road Forward, a musical documentary by Marie Clements, connects a pivotal moment in Canada’s civil rights history—the beginnings of Indian Nationalism in the 1930s—
with the powerful momentum of First Nations activism today.

5:00-5:30: Talk-Back with Vicki George

5:30-7:30 Reception and Book Launch:

Read, Listen, Tell: Indigenous Stories from Turtle Island, edited by Sophie McCall, Deanna Reder, David Gaertner, and Gabrielle L’Hirondelle Hill and recently released by Wilfrid Laurier University Press

Turtle Island: the Story of North America’s First People, by Eldon Yellowhorn and Kathy Lowinger recently released by Annick Press

Readings by Lou Cornum and others (TBA)

Q&A about the MATE (Master of Arts for Teachers of English) program 2018-2020 cohort, with three courses focused on Indigenous literatures