2017, 10:50 minutes, colour, English
APishKweShiMon is a beautiful birthing story of resilience, as well as the sequel to PLACEnta (2012), a short documentary about finding the appropriate place for a placenta ceremony. The placenta ceremony is a sacred rite, and was performed after each birth of every Cree child many years ago. Sadly, our ceremonies and ways of being were interrupted by colonialism, but as a community, we are slowly weaving the ways of our ancestors back into our lives and reigniting the flames of our past.
After eleven long years, Jules, a Cree media maker, and the mother of twin boys Tapwewin and Pawaken has finally found a place to conduct the ceremony. The twins’ placenta has been frozen since their birth in 2006. After careful consideration, and a big move across the country, the Koostachin family finally conducts the ceremony. Amazingly, as though the ancestors have guided them through, Asivak, the twins’ older brother, and their father Jake Chakasim take the lead and support the twins as they prepare for the ceremony in Vancouver. A few weeks later, Jules travels alone and with the ashes of the placenta to her home community of Attawapiskat First Nation in northern Ontario. While in Attawapiskat, and with the guidance and support of family members and friends, they come together to discuss how and where the ceremony needs to take place. Jules’ spirited journey of reclamation is one of hope and inspiration for the next generation.
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