A new film launching today, The Unforgotten, is shining a light on the impacts of colonialism and systemic racism on the health and well-being of Indigenous peoples.
“The Unforgotten is both a statement and an invitation,” said executive producer Dr. Ewan Affleck. “A statement to acknowledge the history of Canadians conveniently 'forgetting' stories that challenge the myth of a tolerant and egalitarian society, and an invitation to start listening so the stories are now heard. We must unforget.”
Each chapter in the five-part anthology uncovers a different experience tied to the health outcomes of Indigenous peoples living in Canada, some of which are told through first-person accounts. These include a Métis Elder who recounts the traumatic events he experienced at an Indian hospital, an artist who pays tribute to an Indigenous man who died waiting for emergency care and two First Nations Elders who share the teachings of traditional medicine from the sacred grounds of their ancestors.
“This film provides an impetus to do better. We must do better. We must move away from the devastating impacts of systemic racism and genocidal approaches that we, as Indigenous Peoples, have endured, for far too long.” – Aluki Kotierk, Inuk knowledge holder and subject matter expert
The film is accompanied by an educational toolkit, created in collaboration with the Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority, to help viewers understand, reflect and discuss the issues raised in the film.
The Unforgotten was created by BUILD. Films and Networked Health, with funding and support from the Canadian Medical Association. It is the product of collaboration between Indigenous and non-Indigenous physicians, filmmakers, musicians, poets, artists and knowledge holders.
“The CMA is proud to support this film project,” said CMA president Dr. Ann Collins, “and we are grateful to the courageous people who shared their stories with the hope that it will contribute to meaningful change.”