The Road Forward is a powerful musical documentary by creator and filmmaker Marie Clements about the Native Brotherhood of BC and their struggles and tribulations to get their voice heard. The film has received rave reviews after sold-out screenings at Vancouver’s York Theatre.
The Native Brotherhood of the BC formed in the 1930s when it was illegal for native people to meet in a gathering or group. The Native Brotherhood and Sisterhood of BC were powerful organizations working towards the same cause. They brought the First Nations together as one.
This Aboriginal Blues and Rock-n-Roll film takes viewers on the journey of the struggles and determination of the characters as they fight for their Native Rights being oppressed by the government. Filmmaker Marie Clements said in the North Shore News she thought it was important to celebrate the investment needed to create change and the ensuing victories because Aboriginal people need to celebrate these as they don’t often read about Indigenous victories and celebrations.
“We don’t often hear about it, and also I think it’s important to look at issues that we’re still dealing with in a truthful way, a contemporary way,” said Marie Clements.
Clements first thought of the idea to create the film when she came across an issue of the The Native Voice – a newspaper that began publishing in the 1940s and became the official voice of the Native Brotherhood of BC. The newspaper served as the platform for the Native Brotherhood to promote their issues and voice their concerns from a native perspective.
The film educates viewers on heroes many are unfamiliar with, and offers a compelling insight and wonderful narration about events that have affected Aboriginal people. These include the Right to hunt, discrimination, the protection of Aboriginal language and culture, residential schools, the Constitution Express, the White Paper, and missing and murdered Aboriginal women.
In the scene where Cheri Maracle leaves home to find work, she faces the brutal reality of the 1940s for an Aboriginal woman. She experiences racism, job refusal because of her skin colour and is unable to even check into a hotel until an unexpected stroke of kindness and opportunity. The Road Forward honours those who came before and created positive change while recognizing issues like the Murdered Indigenous Woman that still need to be resolved.
The cast includes actors, singers and narrations by Michelle St John, Russell Wallace, Cheri Maracle, Thomas Berger, Evan Adams, Leonard George, Doreen Manual, and more.
Clements has created a powerful film that must be seen to understand struggles, victories, and legacies Aboriginal people faced in the past and still confront today. Find more information on The Road Forward at WideAwake.nfb.ca
- Saturday, September 30, 5pm. The Civic Theatre 719 Vernon Street Nelson BC
- Monday, October 16, 5pm. AGH BMO World Film Festival, Hamilton ON
- Theatrical Release at Winnipeg Cinematheque on Saturday, October 21, 3pm; Friday, October 27, 7pm; Saturday, October 28, 7pm; and Sunday, October 29, 3pm.
- Sunday, October 22, imagineNATIVE Closing Gala, Toronto ON
- Tuesday, November 21, Port Hardy Civic Centre, 7440 Columbia Street, Port Hardy BC
- Wednesday, November 22, Gate House Theatre, 11-1705 Campbell Way, Port McNeill, BC
- Wednesday, November 22, Bata Shoe Museum, Toronto, ON
- Friday, November 29, Art Gallery of Alberta, 2 Sir Winston Churchill Square Edmonton, AB
- Friday, January 19, 2018, 7:30pm, Eden Mills & District Community Club, 104 York Street, Eden Mills, ON