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Sonia Bonspille-Boileau in the PinesThe Oka Legacy director, Sonia Bonspille-Boileau in the Pines

In the summer of 1990, all eyes were on the small town of Oka for a standoff between the Mohawk people of Kanehsatake, Quebec police, and eventually the Canadian army. The town of Oka’s plans to expand a golf course onto un-ceded Mohawk land triggered the violent clash. The Oka Crisis, which lasted 78 days, drew worldwide attention, catapulting Indigenous land rights into the spotlight. The events of that summer in Oka had a profound impact on Indigenous peoples in Canada. It set the tone for Indigenous resistance throughout the ‘90s, and inspired many people & communities to take action. Oka was an awakening for an entire generation and helped change the course of Canadian history.

The Oka Legacy is a POV documentary that explores how the Oka Crisis has transformed contemporary Indigenous identity in Canada. Through Mohawk filmmaker Sonia Bonspille Boileau’s own personal journey, The Oka Legacy retraces the events that took place in her hometown in 1990 by talking with people who lived through the events firsthand, like Clifton Nicholas and Waneek Horn Miller, as well as with those who overcame grief like Francine Lemay and those like Melissa Mollen Dupuis and Johnny Jones who, even hundreds of kilometers away, were inspired to do great things. These compelling characters recount their own personal Oka Crisis stories and reflect on what its legacy is and what it should be.

Scene from the film: Melissa Mollen Dupuis talks about how the the Oka Crisis inspired her.

The documentary is developed and produced by Rezolution Pictures’ Catherine Bainbridge, Christina Fon, Linda Ludwick and Lisa Roth. Executive Produced by Catherine Bainbridge Christina Fon, Linda Ludwick and Ernest Webb of Rezolution Pictures, an Aboriginal-owned TV and film production company , the same team that produced the multiple-Gemini and Peabody Award-winning film, Reel Injun, as well as several award-winning documentaries and television series, including Mohawk Girls, Smoke Traders, Club Native and Down The Mighty River.

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