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One of the most acclaimed Indigenous directors in the world, Alanis Obomsawin was born August 31, 1932 in Abenaki territory in New Hampshire during a total eclipse—an exceptionally fitting start to an exceptional life. She grew up in Odanak, Québec, and moved as a young child with her family to the city of Trois Rivières. She came to cinema from performance and storytelling. Hired by the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) as a consultant in 1967, she has created an extraordinary body of work—more than 50 films and counting—including landmark documentaries like Incident at Restigouche (1984) and Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance (1993). The Abenaki director has received numerous international honours and in 2019 was named a Companion of the Order of Canada—its highest distinction. She has also been awarded the Grand Order of Québec (GOQ), the highest level of the National Order of Québec. “My main interest all my life has been education,” says Obomsawin, “because that’s where you develop yourself, where you learn to hate, or to love.”

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