Tracing the loss of language over three generations: Films on indigenous culture directed by Helen Haig-Brown – Canada

My Legacy follows Helen Haig-Brown as she explores the often tenuous relationship between a mother and daughter made more complex by the legacy of residential school, taking us through a journey of healing the impacts of intergenerational trauma on trust, bonding, love and self worth.

Source: Helen Haig-Brown’s Legacy Trailer on Vimeo
Date Visited: Sun Mar 13 2016 17:22:47 GMT+0100 (CET)

My Legacy (Canada, 2014, 60 min.)
Struggling with the ability to sustain a lasting relationship, Helen Haig-Brown questions where this lack of skill and inability to commit comes from.  My Legacy explores the often tenuous relationship between a mother and daughter made more complex by the legacy of residential school. Through understanding her mothers experience of trauma and disconnection, which shaped her approach to motherhood, Helen finds forgiveness and healing when confronting her own childhood with her mother. Despite the various hardships experienced by the women in her family, Helens story is ultimately one of love and forgiveness as she highlights the strength and beauty that has defined her family. Directed by Helen Haig-Brown.

Source: MY LEGACY – Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital
Date Visited: Sun Mar 13 2016 17:05:06 GMT+0100 (CET)

The filmmaker traces the loss of language over three generations of her family and her own desire to recover.

Director Helen Haig-Brown (Tsilhqot’in)

Helen Haig-Brown (Tsilhqot’in) is an award-winning director, director of photography and teacher, and a leading talent in producing experimental documentary shorts. Her work is broad-ranging, from experiences from within her own family to explorations of land and language that are of significance to many First Nations people. Her first fictional work, The Cave, is an official selection of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and of Berlinale 2010, and in 2009 was named one of Canada’s Top Ten (Short Film) by the Toronto International Film Festival.

Haig-Brown’s recent works include Pelq’ilc, about the Secwepemc Nation’s language revitalization efforts, and works in the television series Our First Voices, which focuses on indigenous language. […]

“I’ve always loved great stories that show me the simple beauty of humanity. Through tears, these stories helped me understand the complexity of the human spirit. The display of the multiple grey areas within humanity would at once make me feel an affinity and a deep love for people. Throughout my life, injustices left me devastated, confused and later enraged. These stories have been fundamental to breathing back my love. I make my videos in hopes to contribute to this tradition.”

Source: Helen Haig-Brown | National Museum of the American Indian
Date Visited: Sun Mar 13 2016 17:09:28 GMT+0100 (CET)


Growing up between Stone Reserve and Vancouver, British Columbia, Helen Haig-Brown (writer/narrator) is an award-winning director, and a leading talent in documentary shorts. She writes about experiences within her own family, people she knows and the explorations of the First Nations culture.

We were able to contact Helen Haig–Brown and ask her about the documentary. Here is what she had to say:

What is it like to write, narrate, and direct a documentary? […]

Su Naa (My Big Brother) (Canada, 2005, 11min.)
A young woman tries to resolve her guilt about the death of her brother.

Directed by Helen Haig-Brown.
Mom n’ Me (Canada, 2010, 3 min.)


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