Friday, October 15, 2010

Cinema Politica: Club Native

Gallery 1C03 & The University of Winnipeg Students’ Association will screen Club Native
WINNIPEG MB, October 13, 2010

Together as part of the international documentary screening network Cinema Politica, Gallery 1C03 and The University of Winnipeg Students’ Association (UWSA) are pleased to present the film Club Native at Eckhardt-Gramatté Hall on Tuesday, October 19 at 7 p.m.

Written and directed by Tracey Deer (NFB, 2008), Club Native is a candid and deeply moving look at the pain, confusion and frustration suffered by many First Nations people as they struggle for the most important right of all: the right to belong.

On the Mohawk reserve of Kahnawaké, located just outside the city of Montréal, there are two firm but unspoken rules drummed into every member of the community: Do not marry a white person and do not have a child with a white person. The potential consequences of ignoring these rules – loss of membership on the reserve, for yourself and your child – are clear, and for those who incur them, devastating. Break the rules, and you also risk being perceived as having betrayed the Mohawk Nation by diluting the "purity" of the bloodline.

In Club Native, filmmaker Tracey Deer uses Kahnawaké, her hometown, as a lens to probe deeply into the history and contemporary reality of Aboriginal identity. Following the stories of four women, she reveals the exclusionary attitudes that divide the community and many others like it across Canada. Deer traces the roots of the problem, from the advent of the highly discriminatory Indian Act through the controversy of Bill C31, up to the present day, where membership on the reserve is determined by a council of Mohawk elders, whose rulings often appear inconsistent. And with her own home as a poignant case study, she raises a difficult question faced by people of many ethnicities across the world: What roles do bloodline and culture play in determining identity?

Club Native was selected for screening by the Aboriginal Student Council at The University of Winnipeg. Special guest Dr. Brian Rice, member of the Kahnawaké community and faculty member of the Department of Education at The University of Winnipeg, will facilitate discussion after the film.

For more information about Club Native, please visit: or For more information about the Cinema Politica network, please visit

All screenings will be open to all audiences – everyone is welcome. Our screenings will always be free, but donations to offset costs are welcome. Eckhardt-Gramatté Hall is located on the third floor of Centennial Hall at The University of Winnipeg.

Gallery 1C03 and the UWSA wish to thank Cinema Politica for making it possible for us to participate in this network. We are grateful to the Canada Council for the Arts for generously supporting this initiative.

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