Movie of the Week No.3: Obomsawin’s “Hi-Ho Mistahey!” re Attawapiskat children & their no-go School

FYI: the doc title “Hi-Ho Mistahey!”, in Cree, roughly means “I love u very much” (see The Globe & Mail post, Nov. 01, 2013)

Click image to watch for free from UofT campus, or else…

btw, Shot shows Attawapiskat (Kattawapiskat — to be Cree-precise) kids singing “O Canada” in Cree

NDP MP Charlie Angus, November 2010, Justice building, Ottawa:

Shannen came here with a group of students 2 years ago – and they were asking the government for a school, to find out why after 10 years of broken promises the government had walked away on their commitment.

And, they didn’t know when they came that there were children all across Canada who were falling through the cracks like that. They didn’t know that the shortfall in capital funding for First Nations schools runs at 189,000,000 dollars a year.  They didn’t know that over the last 5 years 122,000,000 dollars that should have gone into building schools was siphoned [out by an Act] and spent elsewhere.

But the Minister opened their eyes. He told them that building a school for children in their community wasn’t a priority for his government. And young Shannen surprised everyone when she told him that answer wasn’t good enough, and the children weren’t gonna give up the fight. And they unleashed what became the largest youth-driven children’s rights movement in Canadian history.

And at the age of 14, Shannen Koostachin was nominated for the International Children’s Peace prize because she became the voice of a generation of children who’d been abandoned by underfunded substandard education.

Shannen speaking at … OIiiiSEeee!

Hello, everyone, my name is Shannen [Koostachin], I am from the Attawapiskat First Nation. I would like to talk to you. What it’s like to be a child who grows to never see a real school. I want to tell you what it’s like to never have the chance to feel excited about being educated.

It’s hard to feel pride when our classrooms are cold and mice run over our lunches. Its hard to feel that you have the chance to grow up somebody important when you don’t have proper resources that libraries and science labs have. That’s why some of our students begin to give up in grade 4 and 5.

They just stop going to school. Imagine that! Imagine that — a child who feels they have no future, even at that age.


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