Five hundred years after the first Europeans stepped onto Turtle Island's shores, their descendants and those of the indigenous who were living here at the time are still struggling to come together in harmony.
"You know, we aboriginals thought we were going to get a seat at the big table," says rapper and CBC Radio producer Wab Kinew at the beginning of this trailer for 8th Fire, a groundbreaking documentary series by CBC Television set to premiere on January 12, 2012. "We got the plague—a plague of whiskey—and our parents and grandparents were molested in schools designed to kill the Indian in the child.
"So where did all of that go wrong?"
The four-part series of one hour each aims to be "a provocative, high-energy journey through aboriginal country showing you why we urgently need to fix Canada’s 500-year-old relationship with Indigenous Peoples, now mired in colonialism, conflict and denial," 8th Fire’s Facebook page says. "Our title grows out of the Anishinaabe Seven Fires prophecy that now is the time for aboriginal peoples and the settler community to come together and build the 8th Fire of peace, justice and harmony."
Nothing seems set to go wrong in this scenario, given the work's original score composed by Cris Derksen, tracks by Aboriginal People's Choice Award–winning Winnipeg’s Most and its host, Kinew himself. The first episode played to a packed house at the Winnipeg Aboriginal Film Festival on November 17.
The series will air on CBC-TV, CBC Radio and CBC.ca online. Here's a glimpse of what's to come....