Three Feathers: Storytelling and Restorative Justice in Northern Indigenous Communities
Three Feathers: The Movie is based a graphic novel by Richard Van Camp, an IndigenousTłı̨chǫ writer from Fort Smith, Northwest Territories, Canada. The film version was adapted for the screen and directed by Carla Ulrich, an award-winning Indigenous filmmaker also from Fort Smith. Produced by Brent Kaulback, the film stars David Burke as Flinch, Joel Evans as Bryce, and Dwight Moses as Rupert (the three youths), with Eileen and Henry Beaver as the Elders Irene and Raymond.
Three Feathers follows the journey of three young Dene men from a small community in northern Canada after they commit a crime against an elder. Their community is angry and demands justice, but instead of being sent away to jail, the young men are sentenced through a traditional sentencing circle. They are sent to live on the land with two Elders, Irene and Raymond, for nine months. There they must learn how to take care of the land, themselves, and each other. Their connection to the land spurs on an emotional, physical and spiritual healing that empowers them to reconnect with the values and traditions of their cultural heritage. But will their newfound humility be enough to heal the wounds and sins of their past? Three Feathers explores the power and grace of restorative justice and the cultural legacy that can empower future generations.
The film has been screened at film festivals throughout Canada, the United States and Europe. It won Best Picture in the short film category at CIFF and also Best Narrative Short at the NWT Media Awards.
Three Feathers was filmed in four different languages; English and three Indigenous Languages. Although the English version of the film has been screened in theatres, schools and universities around the world, release of the three Indigenous language versions are scheduled for release in early 2021.