Going to watch the movie Indian Horse may bring up many different emotions. It is a wonderful movie and it did my heart good to see First Nations actors bravely telling our story about Residential School.
I watched a screening of the movie as an Orange Shirt Society Board Member. We were requested to screen the movie before release. I am a Residential School Survivor and it brought back a lot of troubling memories. At the end of the movie, I was so angered and sad that I cried big messy tears. I was very fortunate to be with two supportive and understanding friends who sat with me and listened as I talked about my experience.
You too may feel intense emotions such as shame, fear or sadness after seeing it. Many people have a lot of anger in seeing the movie. We may have attended Residential School or be related or know someone who attended this movie.
Your body may experience trembling, pounding heart or feeling choked up. We are learning about how memories are intergenerational and some of the emotions and heaviness you are feeling may not belong wholly to you but you may be carrying them for The People.
A few gentle suggestions:
- If the movie brings up too many intense emotions, then leave. Keep yourself safe and cared for.
- Go to the movie with a friend so that you can talk about what you saw and how it made you feel. Let you friend know that after the movie you may need time to share what you saw and how it made you feel. This can happen as you travel home or over a cup of tea. Talk and share with your friend decide who goes first and listen with undistracted attention (phone on silent and put away).
- Smudge and cleanse yourself after watching the movie. Remember to pray for all those who have suffered in these schools or because of these schools.
- If the movie brings up memories and continues to trouble you then you may need to see a counsellor or a traditional elder to help you work through your emotions.
All My Relations