The origins and evolution of the Innu Nikamu Music and Aboriginal Arts Festival are intimately linked to the territorial roots of the Innu people and to the life of the Maliotenam Reserve community. For centuries past, the Innu had followed a seasonal migration cycle, wintering in the northern territories for the caribou hunt and returning every summer to the north shore of the St. Lawrence. Festivities, meetings, traditional games and weddings marked the latter period, and the Festival has become the modern-day reincarnation of the ancient summer celebration.
In more recent times, Maliotenam was host to a government-imposed residential school program that left an indelible scar on the community. At the school’s closing, the buildings were demolished and buried in a field that was to become, a decade later in 1985, the site of Innu Nikamu. Through the music that has accompanied the Innu throughout their history, Canadian director Kevin Bacon traces the fabulous story of the founders, musicians, artisans and collaborators who ignited the hope of a community in distress, and dared to believe that the re-appropriation of their culture and their language was not an impossible challenge.
This trailer is available in French only.