Hands of History (1994)

Currently based in Brooklyn, New York, Maria Hupfield is a member of the Anishinaabe Nation, Wasauksing First Nation located near Parry Sound, Ontario, Canada. Like her late mother and settler accomplice father, she is an artist as well as an advocate of Indigenous activism and Indigenous Feminism. This program begins with a short film about Maria Hupfield, setting the context for her choice of Loretta Todd's film Hands of History (1994) as an homage to previous generations of First Nations women artists. This documentary follows Doreen Jensen, Rena Point Bolton, Jane Ash Poitras and Joane Cardinal-Schubert each of whom seek to find a continuum from traditional to contemporary forms of expression. They reveal their aesthetic philosophies, techniques and personal styles, and describe their exaltation when immersed in the act of creation. This is a moving testimony to the vital role of female First Nations artists in Canada.