Nov4: A Windigo Tale (Ottawa premiere)

Please come join us for the closing event of this year’s Indigenous Sovereignty Week:

Film – A Windigo Tale
Ottawa premiere, followed by discussion with director Armand Garnet Ruffo
… at National Library and Archives auditorium, 395 Wellington St (at Bay)

Free / by donation.
Reception to follow after the film and discussion.

Film website:
Facebook event page:

Filmed on Six Nations Reserve in Ontario and in the Ottawa Valley,  A Windigo Tale is Ojibway poet Armand Garnet Ruffo’s directorial debut.  Produced on a shoe-string budget, in demanding conditions, the film ignites the screen with determination and heart and tells a powerful story of intergenerational trauma and healing.

Shot in HD, Ruffo’s feature-length film moves between the breathtaking beauty of a road trip in autumn and the stark winter landscape of a First Nations community.  Harold, a Native grandfather (Gary Farmer), desperate to save his troubled grandson Curtis (Elliot Simon) from a life on the street, shares the dark secrets of their family and community.  In an isolated village, an estranged mother, Doris (Jani Lauzon), and daughter, Lily (Andrea Menard), must reunite to exorcise the voracious Windigo spirit tied to a painful past. Inspired by Ojibway spirituality and based on the history of the residential school system, where generations of Native children were forcibly removed from their families and aggressively assimilated into Euro-Canadian society, A Windigo Tale is both a chilling and redeeming drama.

A Windigo Tale is poet Armand Garnet Ruffo’s feature directorial debut. The original play script won the CBC Arts Performance Showcase Award, and, in 2003, it went into feature script development with acclaimed Canadian playwright and filmmaker Colleen Murphy. Film production began in the winter of 2006 on Six Nations Reserve in Ontario and was completed in 2008 after additional funding was raised. The second segment was filmed in the Ottawa Valley and in Ottawa itself. The following spring, the film went into post-production at The Banff Centre, in Alberta, and in Ottawa. It stars Gary Farmer, Andrea Menard, Jani Lauzon, Philip Riccio, David Gardner, Jon-Paul Kouri and introduces writer Lee Maracle and new-comer Elliot Simon to the screen.

To prepare himself for the making of A Windigo Tale, Armand Garnet Ruffo immersed himself in the study of film and took directorial courses with some of Canada’s best known filmmakers, such as Deepa Mehta and Gary Burns. In the writing of the film, he drew on his own Ojibway heritage, family and community support, his familiarity with Aboriginal literature and culture, and extensive research into the history of the Residential School system in Canada.  He is indebted to the many Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people who committed themselves to the making of this film.

Armand Garnet Ruffo’s roots extend to the Biscotasing Branch of the Sagamok (Ojibway) First Nation and the Chapleau Fox Lake Cree.  He is currently a professor of Aboriginal Literatures and Creative Writing at Carleton University and divides his time between Ottawa and Fox Lake in northern Ontario.  The author of Opening In The Sky (Theytus Books), Grey Owl: The Mystery of Archie Belaney (Coteau Books) and At Geronimo’s Grave (Coteau Books), he is currently completing a poetic biography on the life of the renowned Anishnaabe painter, and father of the Woodland School of Painters, Norval Morrisseau, which he intends to turn into a film.


This event is part of Indigenous Sovereignty Week 2010 in Ottawa, Oct27-Nov4 – for full details please see

Organized by: Defenders of the Land; Indigenous Environmental Network; Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement Ottawa (IPSMO); Bolivia Action Solidarity Network; MiningWatch; Project of Heart; Public Service Alliance of Canada

Sponsors: Canadian Union of Public Employees; Public Service Alliance of Canada; Canadian Union of Postal Workers; OPIRG/GRIPO-Ottawa; PSAC NCR Aboriginal Action Circle; PSAC National Women’s Department; CUPE Local 4600 (at Carleton University); Carleton University Graduate Students Association; PROMdemonium Fund; Canada Council for the Arts

Indigenous Sovereignty Week, Oct27-Nov4

Please join us as we celebrate the 2nd annual Indigenous Sovereignty Week in Ottawa, Oct27 – Nov4, 2010

The week is a part of a national grassroots initiative to build relationships and raise awareness about the issues and struggles of indigenous people that are often marginalized in Canadian society.

Full information is available on our ISW page,
Or contact:, 613-656-5498


Wednesday Oct 27, 7:00pm
Film – Schooling the World: The White Man’s Last Burden
… at PSAC building JK Wylie boardoom, 233 Gilmour

Friday Oct 29, 7:00pm
Seeking Justice: A National Call for an Public Enquiry for the
Murdered and Missing Women

featuring speakers:
* Sharon McIvor, successful challenger of sex discrimination in the Indian Act
* Laurie Odjig, mother of Maisy (missing since Sept 2008)
* Yasmin Jiwani, Concordia University
… at Lamoureux Hall room 122, University of Ottawa

Saturday Oct 30, 9:00am-5:30pm
Indigenous Sovereignty Symposium
featuring: Clement Chartier, Clayton Thomas-Muller, Marcelo Saavedra-Vargas, Ben Powless, representatives from the Algonquins of Barriere Lake, Native Youth Sexual Health Network, National Association of Friendship Centres, and more…
* opening and closing ceremonies
* plenaries: Climate Justice, Defending the Land
* concurrent sessions: Indigenous Peoples Space, Working as an Ally, Indigenous Sovereignty in an Urban Context, Reclaiming Indigenous Youth Self-Determination, Land Conservation and Indigenous Sovereignty
… at Lamoureux Hall (1st floor), University of Ottawa

Tuesday Nov 2, 5:30pm
Undermining Indigenous Rights: Conflicts with Mining Companies in Canada and Guatemala
with Ramsey Hart of MiningWatch
… University Centre room 378,  Carleton University

Wednesday Nov 3, 11:30am-2:00pm
The Oka Crisis – 20 Years Later: Is Reconciliation Possible?
featuring speakers: (note this is a bilingual event)
* Ellen Gabriel, Présidente, Femmes autochtones du Québec
* Francine Lemay, Traductrice agréée, “À l’orée des bois” | “At the Wood’s Edge”
* Pierre Trudel, Chercheur, Peuples autochtones et gouvernance, CRDP Université de Montréal\CEGEP Vieux-Montréal
* Jessica Yee, Chair, National Aboriginal Youth Council, Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network
… at Desmarais Building room 3120, University of Ottawa
presented by Forum for Aboriginal Studies and Research at University of Ottawa

Wednesday Nov 3, 7:00pm
Film – Reel Injun: On the Trail of the Hollywood Indian
English with French subtitles
Followed by discussion with filmmaker Neil Diamond
… at Canadian Museum of Civilization, 100 Laurier Street, Gatineau
presented by the National Film Board in collaboration with Canadian Museum of Civilization

Thursday Nov 4, 7:00pm
Film – A Windigo Tale
Ottawa premiere, with director Armand Garnet Ruffo in attendance
… at National Library and Archives auditorium, 395 Wellington St


Full information at