By Randolph Lewis
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Additional info for Alanis Obomsawin: The Vision of a Native Filmmaker
008p ——— Normal P PgEnds: , (4) figure 2. Obomsawin at a celebration in Odanak in 1969. Courtesy of the ﬁlmmaker. ABENAKI BEGINNINGS 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 have much opportunity to see him, getting to spend only a few days visiting with him at the lake before having to return to the reserve. This was not an unusual situation for an Abenaki family at this time. During the 1920s and 1930s, men in the tribe turned their backwoods prowess into modest commercial enterprises, earning a reputation as the best outdoor guides that wealthy white sportsmen could hire.
Sir, I have the honor to report that the Abenakis are destroyed,” Major Rogers tells his delighted superiors. While the rest of the audience cheered these words, young Bruchac sat silent in the theater, suddenly fearful. “That movie had made me afraid,” he said. The connection between Bruchac and Obomsawin is more than tribal. The ﬁlmmaker grew up a few hours north across the Canadian border from the best-selling writer, whose Abenaki family name, Bowman, is an Anglicized version of Obomsawin, making them distant relatives.
Beautiful Losers Obomsawin had other challenges in her preteen years aside from the Abenaki bashing that Northwest Passage promoted. 0pt PgV ——— Normal Page PgEnds: TEX , (13) 14 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 ABENAKI BEGINNINGS ﬁlled with uncertainties when in 1944, after several agonizing years in and out of the sanatorium, working odd jobs when he could manage, her father succumbed to tuberculosis. On her 1988 album Bush Lady, she sings an Abenaki song called “Nzi Waldam” that seems to reﬂect her situation at this upsetting time in her youth.
Alanis Obomsawin: The Vision of a Native Filmmaker by Randolph Lewis