From Filmmaker Paul Chaput:
During the course of my MA research in 2011, I interviewed three members of the Six Nations community regarding their roles in the creation and implementation of Native Studies curricula for Ontario high schools. The resulting thesis has been online since 2012. However, the story of the individual contributions of the three Six Nations Educators had remained relatively unknown, even within their community.
Using a collaborative, decolonizing approach, my four-year PhD explored the potential of film to transmit my MA findings back to the Six Nations community. The resulting film, Planting Stories, Feeding Communities: Knowledge, Indigenous Peoples and Film, is a gift back to Six Nations for their generous contribution to the fulfillment of my academic endeavours.
My gratitude goes out to Keith Lickers, Gloria Thomas, Peter Hill, and the many others who participated.
From the Film Premiere Press Release (Three premiere screening of Planting Stories: Feeding Communities,took place in July 2015.)
Stories of unsung heroes lie buried in academic volumes far from the awareness of communities that have been deeply touched by these heroes’ accomplishments. This is especially the case amongst First Peoples who have been the subject of countless studies. How would one reseed these stories to bring them back to the community in a culturally appropriate fashion?
In 2012, Paul Chaput, Métis filmmaker, singer, songwriter, composer, and PhD candidate, began to explore the use of film in order to return findings and stories from his Master’s Thesis back to the community from which they were extracted.
The documentary celebrates the stories of three Six Nations educators: Keith Lickers, Gloria Thomas and Peter Hill.
First Peoples’ reclamation of control over education is at the heart of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Report. Three Six Nations educators —Keith Lickers, Gloria Thomas and Peter Hill – were instrumental in the development of Native Studies and Native Language curricula in Ontario schools. The film celebrates parts of their little known stories, and the positive multigenerational outcomes of their work.
This research explores the question: Is film an effective medium for bringing research findings and stories back to the communities from which they were taken?
Note: This research is authorized by the Six Nations Ethics Committee and the General Research Ethics Board of Queen’s University.
Audience members were invited to fill out a questionnaire after the screening followed by a brief Question and Answer period with researcher/producer/director, Paul Chaput, PhD candidate from Queen’s University.
One graphic representation of audience members’ answers is below: