Walk a Mile Film Project Gets Provincial Help for Distribution

John Hannam, Ann Magiskan, Michelle Derosier, Joyce Hunter at Walk a Mile presentation
John Hannam, Ann Magiskan, Michelle Derosier, Joyce Hunter at Walk a Mile presentation

THUNDER BAY – NEWS – The City of Thunder Bay is getting help from the Province of Ontario to distribute the “Walk A Mile Film Project”.

The Walk-A-Mile Film Project explores different aspects of the treaty relationship and its implications on the urban Aboriginal population. Intended as an educational resource, each segment of the film is written to foster dialogue among participants on a wide variety of issues.

The Ontario Provincial Government has provided $150,000 in funding to the City of Thunder Bay to translate and help distribute the film to schools and libraries across the province.

Thunder Bay Walk a Mile Film Project
A large gathering at the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium for The Walk A Mile film project launch.

“I’m excited to see the support our project has received so far, and now with the support of the Province to see it reach across Ontario especially so. We have work to do as a society, but seeing so many different people come together for the Walk A Mile Film Project tells me most of us are on the same page and ready to do our part to create positive change,” stated Michelle Derosier, Walk-A-Mile Director and co-owner of Thunderstone Pictures Inc. “Film is the perfect medium to help us – I’ve seen first-hand the impact that storytelling can have, and I feel that this project will help us to move forward in a positive direction.”

Raising awareness about treaties and working with First Nations is part of the government’s treaty strategy, which will promote constructive engagement with First Nation communities, revitalize treaty relationships and improve socioeconomic outcomes for Aboriginal peoples.

“This film is an invaluable resource that explores the importance of our treaty relationship. In Ontario, we are all treaty people, so I’m thrilled that we can partner with Thunderstone Pictures and the City of Thunder Bay to help foster dialogue and raise awareness about our treaties across the province,” said David Zimmer, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs for Ontario.

“I’m proud that this initiative was developed in Thunder Bay, and thrilled that our government is helping to bring it to audiences across Ontario. This film project will play an important role in facilitating dialogue on our treaty relationship,” commented Michael Gravelle, MPP, Thunder Bay-Superior North.

“I’d like to congratulate the City of Thunder Bay, Thunderstone Pictures and sponsors including Fort William First Nation for coming together to produce a compelling film that will foster greater understanding of the Aboriginal experience,” added Bill Mauro, MPP, Thunder Bay-Atikokan.

Thunder Bay Mayor Keith Hobbs said, “We at the City are proud of the work being done on the Walk-a-Mile Film Project by the Aboriginal Liaison and our community partners. Building a strong and inclusive community is an initiative we must all take ownership of, and I know that my mayoral colleagues across the province would say the same for each of their communities. Each one of us has a role to play, and we must all come together to discuss progressive, positive solutions to the issues we face.”

“The walk a mile film project has begun to reshape the way we perceive and understand treaty and First Nation relations in Canada. As treaty people, we strive to educate our citizens by putting into context our history, challenges and resilience. First Nations’ have fought on the long standing battleground of racism and discrimination to persevere through strength and self determination. We are all treaty people, and it is time we understand what our relationship is all about for you, I and our children to come,” commented Chief Georjann Morriseau from Fort William First Nation.

“We congratulate the team that organized and produced the Walk a Mile Film Project. We are proud to be a sponsor and look forward to strengthening our relationship,” shared Cam Burgess, Region 2 Councillor, Métis Nation of Ontario.

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