Films for Orange Shirt Day


On September 30, honour survivors of Canada’s Residential School System, as well as those children who did not survive, and the ongoing inter-generational impact on Indigenous communities.


Indian Horse (101 min)

Adapted from Richard Wagamese’s award-winning novel, this moving drama sheds light on the dark history of Canada’s residential schools and the resilience of Indigenous peoples.
Seven-year-old Saul Indian Horse is separated from his family and placed in a residential school, where he is denied the freedom to speak his language or embrace his culture, and where he and fellow Indigenous students suffer harrowing abuse. When Saul discovers that he has a unique talent for hockey, his passion for the game allows him to glimpse a life beyond the horrors that confine him. As Saul’s star rises, he must draw on his own indomitable spirit and face the past.

This film includes mature content which could be difficult for some students. Please review this content advisory before ordering the film.


Our People Will Be Healed (97 min)

Master documentarian Alanis Obomsawin’s 50th film reveals how a Cree community in Manitoba has been enriched through the power of education. The students at a local school for the Norway House Cree Nation discuss their aspirations for the future and reflect on how they are feeling more hopeful than previous generations.

By discussing the effects of intergenerational trauma, substance abuse and many other issues facing Indigenous communities, the students are able to undergo a process of collective healing that shows that the strength of the community comes from the people within it.


The Secret Path (41 min)
Gord Downie began Secret Path as ten poems incited by the story of Chanie Wenjack, a twelve-year-old boy who died fifty years ago on October 22, 1966, while fleeing from the Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School near Kenora, Ontario, and attempting to walk home to the family he was taken from over 400 miles away. Gord discovered the story of Chanie Wenjack (miscalled “Charlie” by his teachers) by his brother Mike, who introduced him to Ian Adams’ Maclean’s story from February 6, 1967, “The Lonely Death of Charlie Wenjack.” This project is an album, an accompanying graphic novel, and also an animated film. 


RISE: The Urban Rez (44 min)
Winnipeg is home to the largest urban Indigenous population in the country, with a high percentage living in a low-income neighbourhood with the highest crime rate in the city. In the face of a staggering number of cases of missing Indigenous women and girls, the community has decided to take a stand, working on an individual level to support, protect and improve the lives of its residents. Hosted by Gitz Crazyboy (Blackfoot, Dene) this documentary shows the brave fighters who have dedicated themselves to the cause and delves into the underlying factors and intergenerational trauma that has allowed this environment to develop in the first place.

Short films:
Against the Grain (24 min), Savage (6 min), When the Children Left (11 min)


Some of these films are being made available to you through a partnership with the Encore+ YouTube channel, your destination for memorable Canadian TV shows and films. Encore+ features hundreds of iconic and award-winning titles in English, French and by Indigenous creators, restored, digitized and yours to enjoy at home. Stream free from any screen!