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Montreal First Peoples' Festival back after hiatus due to the pandemic


After a one-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 31st Montreal First Peoples' Festival (Presence Autochtone) is back and runs until Thursday at the Place des Festivals and other locations in Montreal.

Country singer/songwriter Gator Beaulieu plays Saturday night along with the drum Buffalo Hat SInger, Ilnu singer Mike Paul and others, and there are regular events playing throughout every day.

The festival features a number of films every day.

On Saturday, Kanien'kehá:ka (Mohawk) filmmaker Roxann Whitebean's documentary Haudenosonee Canoe Journey is one of those showing at the Cinema du Musee.

The film follows Onondaga father Hickory Edwards, who navigates the largely forgotten traditional waterways of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) confederacy. The confederacy includes the Kanien'kehá:ka, Onondaga, Oneida, Cayuga, Tuscarora and Seneca nations.

"I feel like positive Indigenous male role models aren't given a platform often," said Whitebean, who lives in Kahnawake. "I was very interested in the fact that he (Edwards) was doing this journey with his daughter - Ellie Rose. I felt like it was a very beautiful story because I was very interested in the ancient waterways of the Haudenosaunee people."

Whitebean is excited that the doc is playing in Montreal after showing internationally and on various streaming sites.

"It's really exciting that it's going to playing in Tiohtià:ke (Montreal), which is Haudenosaunee territory," said Whitebean. "I'm happy that I was able to share my platform with them so that they can talk about the important work that they're doing to revitalize the ancient waterways of our people."

For a full schedule visit the festival's site. Top Stories

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