By Randolph Lewis
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Extra resources for Alanis Obomsawin: The Vision of a Native Filmmaker
I want two hundred million to know that everything can be different, any old different” (bl, 187). Although Obomsawin’s inﬂuence on this classic novel, and the ways in which it embodies aspects of her sentiments and experiences, has never been delineated, I have to reiterate a fundamental point: Cohen’s creative process was too messy to allow for simple links to the lives of his friends. ”All this appeared on the original dust jacket and might have seemed an odd way to sell a novel were it not such an accurate appraisal of its contents.
As a small, fragile population on the Canadian border that most European Americans had forgotten or would have preferred to forget, the Abenakis were never the ﬁrst choice of dime novelists or Hollywood producers looking for “Injuns” to populate their reactionary fables. In some ways this neglect throughout the ﬁrst half of the twentieth century had been a blessing. Given the treatment of Native peoples in popular culture even until quite recent decades, the Abenakis were better off without the attention of the screenwriters and directors responsible for ﬁlms such as The Massacre (D.
One . . two . . three . . four . . ” As soon as a white girl uttered the ﬁfth insult, Obomsawin said: “Come closer, I can’t hear you. ” When the girl foolishly obliged, Obomsawin struck her with her ﬁst. “It was like plugging an iron in the wall,” she remembers. “I would get so mad, I’m telling you, so mad. ” Even after this second eruption against the intolerance of her peers, she faced the same old taunts on the way home, although the beatings started to taper off. “I was very skinny,” she says.