Dates :
Meeting point : Maxwell-Cummings Auditorium – 1379A Sherbrooke Street West
Duration : 2h 40
In English
We Can’t Make the Same Mistake Twice – Spotlight on Alanis Obomsawin’s Film Work


In connection with the exhibition Alanis Obomsawin, Printmaker, the Waban-Aki filmmaker is presenting six award-winning works that she produced at the NFB.

We Can’t Make the Same Mistake Twice, 2016, 160 min

In 2007, the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada and the Assembly of First Nations filed a complaint against Indian Affairs and Northern Development Canada, accusing it of discrimination. They argued that the family and child support services made available to First Nations children on reserves and in Yukon were underfunded and inferior to those offered to other Canadian children. Indigenous children were also six to eight times more likely to be placed in foster care – more often than not in non-Native homes. This situation was reminiscent of the assimilation and trauma caused by residential schools, which was also widely discussed during the trial.

Including the many appeals, the legal process spanned nine long years before finally ending in victory for the plaintiffs in 2016. We Can’t Make the Same Mistake Twice gives a voice to those involved in this legal battle, notably Cindy Blackstock, Executive Director of the FNCFCSC, who endured government spying and retaliation as a result of her central role in the trial. Waban-Aki filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin guides us through the intricacies of the legal system while never losing sight of the real issues at stake: the welfare of children and the survival of Indigenous cultures.


Activity free of charge.

Optional pass reservation: you may reserve a seat in exchange for a service charge. One hour before the event, passes for any remaining seats will be given out free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis.

Service charges (per pass)
General public: $5
VIP: $4