Screening of Club Native, a film by Tracey Tekahentakwa Deer (D'00), and conversation with the director.
In Kahnawake, the hometown of Mohawk director Tracey Deer (Dartmouth '00), there are two unspoken rules: Don't marry a non-Native, and never, ever have a child with a non-Native. In a community where tribal membership rests on the equivocal measurement of blood quantum (literally the measurement of blood "purity"), following one's heart requires risking one's Mohawk status, as well as one's family and community.
With warmth, intelligence and humor, Deer turns her camera on her own family and the lives of four proud Mohawk women deeply impacted by racism and prejudice rooted in Canada's highly discriminatory 1876 Indian Act, and exacerbated by lingering preconceptions about blood quantum that have left a divisive legacy in her community.
Club Native raises critical questions about belonging and idigenity, the heartbreak of "marrying out" of the Mohawk Nation, and the unjust patriarchal laws that disenfranchise Native women. It is a candid and engrossing work about the pain, confusion, and frustration suffered by many First Nations women, but also a testament to the triumph of love and the resilience of the human spirit.
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