The Nature of Healing

Documentary | Not Rated | 78 min.


Galaxy Cinemas Sat, Oct 14, 2023 1:00 PM
Film Info
Event Type:Feature
Release Year:2023
Rating:Not Rated
Content advisory - violence, abuse
Production Country:Canada
Original Langauge:English
Cast/Crew Info
Director:Faith Leone Howe
Cast:Grandfather Jimmie Edgar
Grandmother Roberta Hill
Grandmother Blanche Hill-Easton
Elder John Elliott
Elder Bud Whiteye
Grandmother Dawn Hill
Grandmother Sherlene Bomberry
Produced By:Michael Howe
Faith Howe
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Saturday, October 14, 2023 - 1:00 pm
Galaxy Cinemas Barrie, 72 Commerce Park Dr., Barrie, ON L4N 8W8


***There will be a Community Smudge Ceremony outdoors at 12:30 pm prior to the screening.***



Includes a post-screening Q&A with the film’s Director Faith Howe as well as courageous Survivors of the Mohawk Institute including: Elder John Elliott, and Grandmothers: Dawn Hill, Roberta Hill, and Sherlene Bomberry. After the Q&A please join us in the theatre lobby for a Jingle Dress Dance by Kaya Porter!


The Nature of Healing is the spoken truth of seven Survivors of Mohawk Institute, Canada’s first and longest running residential school. From victim to survivor, to activist, this is a story of resistance, resilience and a healing path.


What began as a simple conversation about the Mohawk Village Memorial Park the Survivors have been building for 10 years, became a full feature documentary. And now it needs to be a completed Park to commemorate the 15,000 children who were taken from more then 60 communities losing their families, communities, culture, identity and for some, their lives.


The 139 residential schools, operated in partnership with the Canadian Government and Churches were Canada’s sanctioned system of dehumanization; neglect, brutality and child abuse in all its forms in order to obliterate the Red Nation footprint.


The Elders, Grandfathers and Grandmothers who speak out now, do so not only for themselves, but for the thousands of children across Turtle Island who never could. 


Winner - Special Jury Award for Bridging Cultures, Arizona International Film Festival, 2023
Winner - Special Jury Prize, Weengushk International Film Festival, 2023
Winner - Special Jury Prize “Most Impactful Film”, Female Eye Film Festival, 2023
Winner - Best Documentary, Three Fires International Film Festival, 2023





Director's Statement - Faith Howe

My own great grandmother as a child had been a resident of the Mohawk Institute, and I had some knowing from what was shared in my family. At my core was a fear that I wouldn’t do it right, that I might inadvertently make misstep and cause additional harm to a group of people who had suffered enough.


I thought I could create a fundraising video for the memorial park the Survivors were working to build. However, when I sat down with an Elder and he shared for almost two hours, I realized this story was requesting to be told in full. And I was right, it isn’t my story to tell, it is the people who lived it.


I was truly honoured to sit as the camera rolled and bear witness to what was shared with me. I learned to lean in and follow where the Elders, Grandmothers and Grandfather led and the story continued to reveal itself. As I shared my weeks with people featured in the film on my editing screens, I fell deeply in love with each of them. Every sentence holds significance.


We bring The Nature of Healing, to audiences believing they too will have a profound experience with this truth. May we bravely face and repair the dehumanization that happened to the Indigenous People across Turtle Island. May they continue to graciously teach. Nia:wen




Presented in Partnership with the Barrie Native Friendship Centre