Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - December 1, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta
Cowboy and Indian movies must stop PAGE S fly ALEX BINKLEV MONTREAL (CP) Willie Dui'ii baned in tie deep high- backed chair to emphasize ins point. "W hen my five-year-old niece was told by her imther that she was 3D Indian, siic cried and cried. "She was brainwashed about being an Indian. "We've got to stop cowboy and Indian movies and this racism they create. We've got to stop films that make kids ashamed of tfljemselves if we are ever going to live to- gettier. AH we're doing now is taking away people's self-es- teem." Wiliie knows what be is talkirg about. Tbe 29-year-old Mic Mac, son of an Indian mother from the Restigouche, Quc. reserve near Us3 New Brunswick border and a Scot- tish father, was born aixl raised in Montreal. He has tasted the bitter fruit of rac- ism and prejudice. He also is an award-winning movie-maker, songwriter and Ginger. His foreign-acclaimed 10-mk'Ute short film, The Bal- lad of Crowfoot, produced while working under contract to the National Film Board, won him a grant this year from Hollywood's Acad- emy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. FILM ABOUT KIEL The money is going into Tic Seeds of Explofeution, "a con- cise film showing the exploita- tion of Canada's native peo- ples by the white man from 1600 to Willie says. A fi'm about Louis Riel, who led the 1885 Northwest Rebellion, also is in the works. The Ballad of Crowfoot started off as one of 10 songs about famous Canadian In- dian civets. Willie wrote Item in 1967 for Indian Magazine, a CBC radio program produced by John Barbaras h and Johnny Yesno. A hitter melody which will be in Willie's Mxm-to-bc-re- leased second album, The Bal- lad of Crowfoot tells of Hie humj'iation and degradation the white man has brought to Indian society. In 1968, Willie collected his- torical photographs about tlie Indian and the coming of the white man and his civilization Packers buy buffalo meal CALGARY (CP) Canada Packers Ltd. of Edmonton was the successful bidder for about pounds of dressed buf- falo meat, the national and his- toric parks branch said here. The company paid for about 200 buffaio which were killed because the range at Elk Islrnd National Park east of Edmorton was unable to sup- port them. bids were received from Burns Foods Ltd. of Cal- gary ,-vnd Marcel Legare Ltd. of La Prairie, said a parks spokesman. Only the meat was offered for sale. The hides are to be distributed through UK Indian affairs branch for Indian crafts in Alberta, and the skulk are to be collected by the University of Calgary for scientific re- ser.rch. Thj sale left the herd stand- at about 400. In October, 186 buffalo were sold nnd 30 bidders were in- volved. Tlie successful tenders on Hi? seven blocks of buffalo totalled from the National Archives in Ottawa. He blended tbsm using his song as background music to produce thn film which has sold more copies than any other NFB production this year, he says. RACIAL GENOCIDE Willie calls tic racism that he and most Indians have en- countered kind of mentality that only wants to look after its own kind." "It's a disease I sense every time I see the blue riding over the hill in western movies. Its racial genocide." Consciousness about his identity slowly evolved while growing up in a tough section of east-end Montreal, a stint in the army from 1950 to and various activities after too left the service which he says got him into jail "many times." After travelling and work- ing in parts of Canada in 1963-04, Ire decided to test a suggestion from his perform- ances at army variety shows that he become a professional singer. Dun-ing the next couple of years his billings in Canada and the United States were few and far between and never paid well, he says, ad- m i 11 i n g that he "starved many times." Then hs landed a job writ- ing the musical score for the Ecstasy of Rita-Jo, a play which ran iai Vancouver's Queen Elizabeth Theatre. CONCERN FOR INDIANS One of the members of cast was Chief Dain George who was nominated for an Academy award last, year as best supporting actor for his role as the Indian chief in Lit- tle Big Man with Duslin Hoff- man. After UK play finished, Wil- lie returned to Montreal and started writing for Indian Magazine. He says the pro- gram's airtime "was a good indication of Canadian con- cern for Indians" as it had its half-hour moved to an haur and then abruptly sv.iiched hack. It was then thai Mr. Bar- barash Rot Willie to do the Indian chief series from which the Ballad of Crowfoot emerged. Through an acquaintance, Willie got into a special Com- pany of Young Canadians pro- gram to have seven young In- dians trained by the NFB in film-making. Willie is still working under contract with the board. He has two TlK first, and most lirif ortant, is to be a good film-maker. Tte second is to remain active in tha In- dian movements but not as a leader. How will he know unless you tell him? 'S SINGER HINT Save D-- D rg Onl. Hvilur !fe n u II" SINGER Merry Christmas Centers COLLEGE SHOPPING MALL 20th Avenue and Mayor Magrath Open Daily 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Thursday and Friday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.