In advance of the worldwide premiere of the highly anticipated Telefilm-funded Indian Horse, Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs and Senator Murray Sinclair, Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, hosted a special screening at the Canadian Museum of Nature to honour and celebrate the film. Attended by government officials, Indigenous artists, and the film’s cast and crew, the evening event was an opportunity to have a frank conversation about the impact of the residential school system and the role hockey played in the survivor’s lives.
“It’s important for the Canadian public to understand that we had an important contribution to make to the evolution of the sport of hockey in Canada. That’s part of the story of residential schools that has not been known until this point in time…. [the] sport helped to protect them from being abused, it also helped to give them a diversion from the abuse experience.” – Senator Murray Sinclair, Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
“Hockey is something I learned in residential school and when I reflect back I’ve always said that, it actually saved my life” – Grand Chief Willie Littlechild, Grand Chief of the Confederacy of Treaty Six First Nations
Indian Horse follows the story of an Indigenous boy named Saul Indian Horse who is torn from his Ojibway (Anishnaabe) family at eight years old and committed into the Residential School system. In the midst of the traumatic environment of the school, Saul finds salvation in hockey and secretly teaches himself to play, developing a unique and rare skill. While his impressive talent leads Saul away from the misery of the school, the ghosts of his past are always present, and threaten his promising career and future.
Executive Produced by Clint Eastwood, Indian Horse is in select theatres since April.