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“The tune therefore is preserved among them: Stories of Indigenous music and tradition”

Fri, Dec 6 / 7 pm
Curated and introduced by Jenny Western.

“Music has the capacity for transcending time and memory. Even beyond the use of lyric and language, a simple melody can spark a connection to history and identity, community and land, the past and the future. As such, “The tune therefore is preserved among them” brings together film and video makers who tell a myriad of stories mediated by music. Whether it is reviving musical scores from past generations, listening deeply to the sounds of water, or imagining ways that music will lead our traditions onward, this program celebrates the rhythms of lived Indigenous experience.” – Jenny Western.

I was Lost and You Were Dreaming featuring Ghostkeeper
2019, Canada, 3:39 min
Directed by Joe Kelly and art direction by Sarah Houle
This is a duet sung from the perspectives of Sheer Blouse and Buffalo Knocks. Layers of guitar, synth and beats with vocals echo the lament of the distance between the two characters as they struggle to find each other in one realm or another. Cree samples for the word window represent the portals that they seek.

Muscogee Creek Hymn: Espoketis Omes Kerreskos
2019, USA, 3:31 min
Performed and sung by Elisa Harkins and Dannie Wesley.
Espoketis Omes Kerreskos is a Muscogee (Creek) Hymn that was sung on the Trail of Tears and continues to be sung in Muscogee (Creek) churches today.

Directed by Leah Decter & Cheryl L’Hirondelle
2015, Canada, 8:58 min
From a dock on a lake in the Canadian Shield – cottage country in Treaty Three territory – Cheryl L’Hirondelle sings ‘kitaskihkanaw,’ a song, inspired by Woody Guthrie’s ‘This Land Is Your Land,’ that foregrounds understandings of this land from a Cree worldview. Out in the bay Leah Decter bails in a Sportspal canoe, an act that gestures towards both implicit complicity and willful subversion.

res dog yellow
Directed by Sebastien Aubin
Canada, 1:40 min. 
Fabricated sounds using dogs and bones and contact mic’s (Font, music, visuals)

nêhiyawak – page
Directed by Conor McNally
2018, Canada, 4:23 min
This song refers to how many indigenous cultures globally have been systematically impacted by words written down on documents and questions if these are attempts at negating actual history. What have been the effects of creating such works as the Magna Carta, the Charter of the Forest, or the Royal Proclamation on pre-existing cultures and ideologies? The trio of Indigenous Canadian artists – Kris Harper (vocals, guitars), Marek Tyler (drums), and Matthew Cardinal (synths, bass) transcends a new intersection of contemporary sound and traditional storytelling with its singular music. nêhiyawak hails from amiskwaciy in Treaty 6 Territory.

Land Songs, Water Songs
Directed by Navarana Igloliorte
2018, Canada, 13:10 min
Land Songs, Water Songs, Chants de terre, Chants d’eauis is an interdisciplinary exhibition project, featuring a collaboration between Navarana Igloliorte, Marie Côté, Ziya Tabassian and Peter Morin. The exhibition which was at Surrey Art Gallery centres around drums, drum beats, songs, sound, bodies, history and territory. Ziya Tabassian uses his hands to create rhythms and sonic textures between the ceramic bowls made by Marie Côté and the Bear Creek connecting all of our cultures and artistic endeavours with the spirit of place. This video is component of Land Songs, Water Songs, Chants de terre, Chants d’eau, an exhibition curated by Jordan Strom at the Surrey Art Gallery from June 30th to September 1st, 2018.


Navarana Igloliorte is a multidisciplinary artist and filmmaker living in Vancouver, BC. She uses a variety of mediums such as stencilling, short gauge film, video, painting, printmaking and dance.

Ziya Tabassian began playing the tombak (Iranian drum) at the age of ten. After a brief initiation period in Iran, he continued his autodidactic training in Quebec, his adopted homeland. As a percussionist, Ziya Tabassian is professionally active in early music (medieval, Renaissance and Baroque), as well as contemporary, current and world music.

For Marie Côté, the foundation is pottery. She still finds pleasure at throwing a pot, although nowadays she mainly creates sculptures and installations. Marie Côté lives and works in Montréal

Peter Morin is a grandson of Tahltan ancestor artists. He has now lived away from his home territory for most of his life, but like his ancestors who have walked on the land, he carries Tahltan knowledge, ideas and history with him wherever he is. Morin’s artistic practice has spanned twenty years so far, with exhibitions in London, Berlin, Singapore, New Zealand, and Greenland, as well as across Canada and the United States.

Indians Never Die by Black Belt Eagle Scout
Directed by Evan James Atwood
2018, Canada, 4:44 min
Filmed on the ancestral lands of the Chinook, Chinnuk Wawa, and Tillamook tribes

Sounding Indian Melodies New Haven
by Seth Wenger
2018, US, 7:42 min
In 1845, after a long migration from the Northeast and a resettlement with his tribe in the Midwest,Thomas Commuck, a Brothertown Indian of Narragansett descent, composed and published a shape note tunebook in the singing school tradition. The result is beautiful harmony singing and a discussion of traditions. On February 3rd, 2018 Brothertown Indian Nation Tribal Council members from the Midwest, and Brothertown Citizens from across the US gathered in New England, Commuck’s ancestral home.They were joined by members of their parent tribes, members of various other Native communities, and singers from the New England shape note community.

Directed by Cara Mumford
2016, Canada, 2:42 min
When a young Anishinaabekwe experiences racism for the first time, her mother realizes that she can’t protect her daughter from the evils of the world, but that she can have tremendous influence in mitigating the damage. Leanne Simpson’s spoken word track, “Leaks,” recorded with Tara Williamson, is combined with visuals of Leanne with her daughter on the land of the Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg, this film is about living as an Anishinaabekwe, the connection to the land and passing that knowledge on to our children. The studio track of “Leaks” has been released as part of a spoken word/music album alongside “Islands of Decolonial Love,” a book of short stories and poetry by Leanne Simpson, released in the Fall of 2013 by Arbeiter Ring Publishing.

Co-presented by Urban Shaman.

« January 2022 » loading...
Tue 18

Sisters with Transistors

Available to rent for $9.99
January 14 - February 28
Tue 18

Greener Grass

Available to rent for $4.99
January 14 - Feb 28
Wed 19

Best of GFF: One of Ours

Sat, Jan 8 / 7:15pm
Sun, Jan 9 / 3:30pm
Wed, Jan 12 / 7pm
Sat, Jan 15 / 4:30pm
Tue, Jan 18 / 7pm
Wed 19

The Films of Roy Andersson: Giliap

Tue, Jan 18 / 9:10pm
Thu, Jan 20 / 9pm
Thu 20


Fri, Jan 7 / 7pm
Sat, Jan 8 / 2:30pm & 5:15pm
Sun, Jan 9 / 5:40pm
Tue, Jan 11 / 9:30pm
Thu, Jan 13 / 9:30pm
Sat, Jan 15 / 9pm
Sun, Jan 16 / 5:30pm
Wed, Jan 19 / 7pm
Thu, Jan 20 / 7pm


The Winnipeg Film Group is an artist-run education, production, exhibition and distribution centre committed to promoting the art of cinema.
our location

We’re located in the heart of Winnipeg's historic Exchange District in the Artspace building. We are across the street from Old Market Square at the corner of Arthur Street and Bannatyne - one block west of Main.

The Winnipeg Film Group is located on Treaty 1 Territory and on the ancestral lands of the Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota and Dene Peoples and in the homeland of the Métis Nation. We offer our respect and gratitude to the traditional caretakers of this land.