Photo Friday | Cree Hunters of Mistassini

Photo Friday | Cree Hunters of Mistassini

Photo Friday | Cree Hunters of Mistassini

Produced as part of the NFB’s Challenge for Change program, Cree Hunters of Mistassini is a 1974 feature doc chronicling a group of three Cree families from the Mistassini region of Quebec. The film follows the families as they set up a winter hunting camp near James Bay and Ungava Bay.

Cree Hunters of Mistassini, Tony Ianzelo & Boyce Richardson, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

One of the two filmmakers, Boyce Richardson, had previously written a series of articles for the Montreal Star on Native rights and the environmental damage done by development on their land. He traveled to Mistassini to speak with Cree friends, pledging that their film would allow Native people to tell their own stories, and filming went ahead with three hunting families in the bush.

Exploring the beliefs and the ecological principles of the Cree, the film artfully shows the clash between the dominant white culture (and its James Bay development scheme) and an ancestral hunting culture with deep ties to the land.

Enjoy these photos from production below:

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  1. An exreremely hard life but they are so happy .
    We can learn from them although it has not happened
    yet . I myself have snowshoed , pulled a toboggan
    but not to hunt but photograph in all seasons but what I did
    was nothing compared to these wonderful humans.My heart
    goe’s out to them, how things have changed to bad.

    — Mr. Bob.,
  2. Incredible footage………learned a lot! As a Fishing and Hunting Outfitter (Wapoos Sibi Club), times have certainly changed but I have nothing but admiration for the Cree survival skills and their capability to survive in a really hostile environment.,,

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