Duke Redbird, Filmmaker


Charlie Squash Goes To Town, 1969

This satirical short was the first animated film by an Indigenous director to be produced at the NFB. The film pokes gentle fun at Indigenous stereotypes and challenges the idea that Indigenous youth should seek to blend into mainstream society. Today, Duke Redbird is a prominent artist and scholar.

To Walk With Dignity, 1973

BLAIK RIRBY The Globe and Mail; May 1, 1973

“Last night’s Channel 19 program on the problems and outlook of Indians had one small stroke of genius which should have helped get its message across - but whether it was even visible on black-and-white TV is doubtful.  One of the main themes of the show, written by Indian poet Duke Redbird, was the difficulty of communication between Indians, who tend to talk in simple terms of individual problems, and white administrators who speak technocratic gobbledygook.  

To make the point, Redbird’s script had four Indians on one side of a meeting table and the same four Indians in whiteface on the other side.  Each side spoke English and talked about the same problems, each in its own style - but there was absolutely no communication.“


The Early Years

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