I Was Born Here

Fumoleau, Rene
Year Published:  1977  
Pages:  16min  
Book Type:  Videotape

Resource Type:  Film/Video
Cx Number:  CX353

An old Dene of the Mackenzie District, N.W.T., reflects on his land, his People, his values.

Abstract:  In this 16 mm colour film drawn from slides of the Dene way of Life, Rene Fumoleau offers a technically superb and sensitive presentation of the people of the Mackenzie Valley. In it, an old Indian of the Mackenzie District, N.W.T. reflects on his land, his People, his values. Fumoleau, an oblate priest, has lived among these people since 1953. He has published a history of the Indian Treaties no. 8 & 11. Many of his photographs have been reproduced in books and magazines. In 1974, 265 of his slides were selected to form a slide show which has been acclaimed in many villages and cities. Scores of northern people continuously suggested changes and improvements in the slide selection and the script. Their comments and advice led to the adaptation of the slide show into its present form. "My People lived with the Big River many thousands of years before it was called the Mackenzie. Our land was our life, long before it was called the Northwest Territories. Others call us Indians, but in our own languages we have always called ourselves Dene pronounced; De-nay). Our rivers and our lakes are so beautiful and provide a most reliable transportation system. During the long winters strong dog teams have taken us all over our homeland. Our trees grow tall in some districts but our territory extends also to the Barren Land. For thousands of years tasty fish and wild animals have supplied our food. I wish I could show you all our land, all its beauty, and all its animals, but in this short film I want also to tell you about our way of life, our feelings and our attitudes. The Great Spirit and Mother Earth have made us, the Dene, a patient, courageous, resourceful, and spiritual people. Nature and our ancestors have taught us what can never be written in books. Our land is not only a place, it is our soul, our life. The Great Spirit and Mother Earth will never let us down. Both we trust, revere and thank. And our children, for ever, will stand firm and secure on our own land."