Filmmakers strive to ignite Métis spirit by telling their stories
- EFN Staff | March 09, 2016
100métis.ca = 100 videos / 100 days / 100 youth
Two young filmmakers from Winnipeg are documenting what it means to be Métis, and looking for some help.
Brother-sister Franco-Métis filmmaking team Janelle and Jérémie Wookey are seeking 100 video submissions in 100 days from Métis youth across the country. Their multimedia project, called 100métis.ca, will consist of an interactive online archive featuring the videos, and television documentary of the journey it took to get there (to air later in 2016).
Seven years ago, Janelle put her family on screen to tell the story of the last three generations of the Red River Métis: the hidden (her grandmother’s generation), the lost (her mother’s), and the found (Janelle). That year marked the end of a ten-year period of unprecedented growth for Manitoba’s Métis population, attributed in great part to what was being labeled a “cultural awakening.”
In an interview shot just a few months before her death, Augustine Abraham, matriarch of Manitoba’s Métis community and great-niece of Louis Riel, left an important message for the ‘found’ generation. She declared it would be up to them to keep the spirit of the Métis alive, and asked that they “dig deep” and “do something bigger” so that a very important past may not be forgotten.
In an attempt to answer Mme. Abraham’s call, Janelle created 100métis.ca – an innovative online archive of Métis past and present, where the ‘found’ generation of Métis can unite and learn to define who they are in today’s world. The accompanying film directed by Jérémie follows Janelle as she ventures on her next quest – discovering the realities and challenges facing today’s ‘found’ generation of Métis.
“It’s important for me to undertake this project because I believe there is a population of young Métis in my generation feeling conflicted about their heritage,” explains Janelle. “Ten years ago, our first film Memere Métisse contributed to the conversation about the taboo of revealing Métis ancestry among my grandmother's generation. Through 100métis.ca, we hope to create a platform to again ignite a conversation that will help orient young Métis people to move forward in a united, confident way.”
Janelle and Jérémie are soliciting video submissions – 100 videos in 100 days from 100 youth – to create a portrait of who the Métis are, where they are at, and where they are going. So if you are Métis, they want your story! Find out more at www.100métis.ca.