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Indigenous movement highlighted in Vernon movie screening

The Road Forward shown as part of Indigenous History Month
The Road Foward is screened at the Vernon Museum June 23. (Contributed)

How a humble newspaper become a powerful force for change for First Nations is the focus of a special movie screening.

The Museum and Archives of Vernon (MAV) is showing The Road Forward June 23, as part of its Movies in the Museum series.

“Indigenous history month invites all of us to recognize the incredible contributions of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples of Canada,” said Amy Timleck, MAV program coordinator

“The Road Forward allows us to better understand the beginnings of prolific movements that were birthed right here in British Columbia and the impact that they still carry across the country today.”

In this inspired musical documentary, writer/director Marie Clements connects a major turning point in Canada’s civil rights history—the beginnings of Indian Nationalism in the 1930s—with the powerful momentum of First Nations activism today.

Interviews with key members of Canada’s oldest First Nations organizations, the Native Brotherhood and Native Sisterhood, reveal the starkly racist politics that inspired the movement as well as how a humble newspaper became a powerful force for change. The Native Voice established a lifeline between the First Nations of British Columbia, uniting them to advocate socially, politically and legally in order to effect profound change on a national level.

The documentary’s stunningly shot musical sequences, performed by an ensemble of some of Canada’s finest vocalists and musicians, bring to life the past 80 years of politics and protest on the West Coast and across the country. Inspired by articles from The Native Voice, the superbly produced story-songs range from heartbreaking ballads about the missing and murdered Indigenous women to inspirational anthems for moving forward, seamlessly connecting past and present with soaring vocals, blues, rock, and traditional beats.

Interwoven throughout the documentary are deeply moving interviews with the musicians and singers speaking intimately about what it means politically and personally to be contemporary First Nations artists, and the passion behind their work.

The Road Forward is a rousing tribute to the fighters for First Nations rights, a soul-resounding historical experience, and a visceral call to action

The screening takes place June 23 at 7 p.m., by donation. Seating is limited so attendees are encouraged to register in advance at

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Jennifer Smith

About the Author: Jennifer Smith

Vernon has always been my home, and I've been working at The Morning Star since 2004.
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