Two Worlds Colliding screened ten years after release
Filmmaker talks about changes in Saskatoon since Two Worlds Colliding released
A decade has passed since Tasha Hubbard made her film Two Worlds Colliding, about a police scandal that rocked Saskatoon and its aftermath.
Last night the film was screened again, at the Broadway Theatre.
Those gathered talked about what has changed in relations between police, the Aboriginal community and the city as a whole, since the film was first released.
It deals with a practice that came to be known as starlight tours, which came to light when two police officers dropped off Darrell Night on the outskirts of town on a frigid winter night, leaving him to make his way back on his own.
He survived. His experience raised suspicions about the freezing deaths of other Aboriginal men near the edge of the city -- Lawrence Wegner, Rodney Naistus and Neil Stonechild.
Most important issue in the city
Panelist and StarPhoenix reporter Betty Ann Adam covered the inquiry into Stonechild's death. She recalled the impact when Darrell Night's story broke.
"Many, many aboriginal people were angry and they felt like they weren't surprised," Adam told the audience. She recounted how it set off changes in civic politics and policing, saying "this was the most important issue in the city at the time".
Another panelist, lawyer Don Worme, talked about "the incandescent rage that kept me going through this whole time".
He explained, "We were against bad policing. And once that distinction was understood we had so much people that were able to jump on board and understand that."
The police use drunk in public as an avenue to interact with individuals- Lawyer Nicholas Blenkinsop
Worme also said "there have been significant changes in this city", and audience member Jason Roy agrees.
Roy was the key witness at the Stonechild inquiry.
He told the CBC that with the turnover in police personnel in the last decade "they've taken a lot of different steps in how to deal with Aboriginal people on the street and just the people in general."
But there was also general agreement that there is still some distance to go.
Lawyer Nicholas Blenkinsop outlined how Aboriginal people are still more vulnerable to arrest for public intoxication. He said some police appear to be unaware that such arrests are only legal if the person is a danger to him or herself or other people, or are a nuisance.
"I have seen a number of situations where the police use drunk in public as an avenue to interact with individuals and trench upon their rights in a way that they shouldn't be doing so," Blenkinsop told the audience.
As for the filmmaker, Tasha Hubbard, she told the CBC's Saskatoon Morning there's still issues of "excessive violence and people on the virtue of being Indigenous maybe not being taken as seriously".