When the editor of Kahnawake’s Eastern Door newspaper asked departing intern Elizabeth Ryan to return to the Mohawk community some day, he didn’t know if she would follow through.
But Ryan never forgot her promise. After entering mainstream journalism and becoming a reporter for CBC’s French-language service, Radio-Canada, Ryan returned to Kahnawake to tell a different type of story.
Two weeks ago, Ryan visited the Mohawk territory at the foot of Montreal's Mercier Bridge with the intention of immersing herself in its daily life.
The result is a documentary that doesn’t repeat tired stereotypes of alcoholism and abuse. Instead, Ryan’s work — called Dans l'oeil de cinq Mohawks (Through the eyes of five Mohawks) — tells the stories of Mohawks aged 20 to 83.