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'Being Innu' Movie Notes

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Social Science
SOSC 1800
Shirley Ramsarran

May 9, 2013 Movie Notes: Being Innu  Newfoundland: Innu homeland  Most of this film focuses on the area of Sheshatshiou   Innu nomads for 10,000 years o Were hunters, followed the caribou  Lives were turned upside down 50 yrs. Ago  They were told to stay in a community so children could attend school  Men were forbidden to hunt  Alcoholism and domestic violence became widespread  2 generations have struggled to find a balance between the old ways and the new rd  3 generation is coming of age and the struggle continues *recording started here*  Shows 2 Innu men hunting during the Spring caribou migration  Men talking to reporters – says stays in country for about 9 months of the year o Man says all he does there (in the country) is drink  Man discusses that he doesn’t understand what is wrong with their (presumably Innu) young people  19 year old speaks: decided to live with her grandparents as opposed to her parents at the age of 2 or 3 o Says a lot of children in her community do this o Also call their grandparents as their mother and father o Mention of high suicide rates o Theresa (the 19 year old girl) says she doesn’t understand why one of her close friends who was like a brother to her committed suicide, mentioned he was drinking at the time  Jack decided to speak to people in the community about suicide o People were afraid – happened so much they didn’t know who would be next o Went to the radio station to reach out o Encourages discussion of this throughout the community as a game plan to figuring out where they want to go with this is a community  Young man speaks about how he tried to commit suicide – jumped off a bridge, but didn’t die  Michael (giant) speaks: unemployed, only had one job in the community, no girlfriend, has a daughter o Never sees her because he is an alcoholic  Adolescent speaks about boredom o Nothing going on during day or at night except for during the day for those who do attend school  16 yr. old girl is sniffing a bag o Asked where her parents are, she just shrugs o Asked if her parents know she is sniffing bags, she says yes o Asks how long she’s done this for – years o Does not attend school, admits just sniffs all the time o Says she is lonely for her older brother who died  Drugs keeps the teens’ minds off of things when they’re high  Neil – another adolescent says he never speaks with his dad because they always argue o Sometimes he has nowhere to go, lives in woods (has an indoor armchair sitting outside by a fire) o Admits to living, drinking, smoking dope in the woods at one point o Friends would come and keep him company o His father never visited him, but would drive by and honk his horn o Asked what he’s going to do with his life, says it depends… (slurred speech, didn’t make sense), continued on to say he doesn’t think about it  Man speaks: says they (Innu) have been made to forget who they are o Forget everything they’re taught – asks if this happened to you, wouldn’t you feel there’s something missing in your life? o This is what the white man has done to the Innu o Tried to make them something that they’re not, and so they will never belong  House fires often started by children  Teen says she doesn’t want to end up like everyone else – will have to think about what she really wants I life o Group of girl’s discuss various house fires and people (including a baby) who have died in them o Says she can consider getting a fulltime job or go back to school or she can live there for the rest of her life with her boyfriend but that isn’t what she really wants even though she’s serious about their relationship o Her boyfriend says there’s a strong possibility for him to go back to school, says he’s sick of being unemployed, understands that he’ll have a better chance of getting a job if he does so o His gf says she stopped drinking recently – friends encouraging her to, she said ‘no’  Man speaks: large number of teens who do not go to school, attendance is an issue for those who do o Many children go out to the bush with their parents at certain times of the year, attendance rates drop significantly around this time o Has integrated a bike reward for various age groups of the school who do the best academically, as well as smaller prizes such as soccer balls o Says they need to be educated to succeed personally and as a group as well  Woman speaks: many people and Innus work for a company, go away for two weeks, going home for 2 weeks o Do this for freedom and money to work however they want o They work as housekeepers (I think it’s for a camp site for employees that work around the area – seems like some sort of industrial area) o Even still, admits to doing so much of drinking/drugs when at home, gets free time when away at work to do what they want o There are dangerous animals (bears) around this area, cannot go outside without hard hat, steel-toe boots o Admits to being happy  Man speaks about girl who tried to commit suicide – hung herself in basement but didn’t die o When speaking to her she was very distraught, not in receptive state of mind o Helen, family counselor, who knows the girl’s family is shocked o April, the girl who tried to commit suicide o Her grandmother speaks – April was committed to hospital o They wanted to keep her overnight, she didn’t want to o Someone at hospital was supposed to get April psychiatric help but it never actually happened o Says that attempted suicide not taken seriously – doesn’t get a rise out of people o Grandmother says treatment doesn’t help her  Innu elder speaks: says their children never used to do this o Before Goose bay there was no reason for suicide o Happens because of outside influences o In the past they always wintered the country, that’s where their livelihood came from o No help from gov’t o Now today it’s all government  Young man speaks: says they were told many years ago to stay in community or no money, now they get money but it doesn’t solve the problems  Man speaks: says let us control our lives, you’re not our parents, we’re adults o
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