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Park City Film to screen “For Love,” about indigenous residential schools in Canada

Park City Film

In the 19th and 20th centuries, Canadian law required indigenous children to attend residential boarding schools, sometimes thousands of miles from their home villages. KPCW has this preview of “For Love,” which will show for free at the Jim Santy Auditorium Thursday night.

For Love” was written and produced by Mary Teegee and Matt Smiley. Teegee said it’s essential to show the impacts of colonization on native culture; for many years the government forcibly took native children from their homes, requiring them to attend boarding school.

Teegee said the film shows how resilient people are despite the humanitarian crisis caused by the practice.

“What happened in Canada is called cultural genocide. So, for certain, in all of the different realms of colonization and residential schools, there was definitely an attempt to assimilate and wipe out indigenous people through forced assimilation policies and forced residential school policies. And of course, the United States. You call it the boarding schools, but it was illegal not to allow your children to attend residential school, so it definitely was a form of cultural genocide.”

The movie details the lengthy process that has occurred between the Canadian government and the tribes to reach Truth and Reconciliation.

Teegee said all Canadians are impacted by the residential school policy. And the story is personal to her: her own grandmother hid in the mountains to avoid being taken away from her home by Canadian Mounties.

“You can imagine the loss of human potential. You know, when we look at all the brilliant people that were like beaten down, whether or not they were sexually abused, physically abused, spiritually abused, and then later having to self-medicate. We have lost so much human potential. But as an indigenous person, every one of us has either sisters or grandparents, aunties or uncles, or somebody that has been to residential school.”

The film is showing at the Jim Santy Auditorium as part of the free Thursday Park City Film series. It starts at 7 P.M.

KPCW reporter Carolyn Murray covers Summit and Wasatch County School Districts. She also reports on wildlife and environmental stories, along with breaking news. Carolyn has been in town since the mid ‘80s and raised two daughters in Park City.