Now Streaming: ‘To Wake Up the Nakota Language’

Photo by Taryn Snell, courtesy of the NFB


By Pat Mullen

Now streaming from the NFB, a smart choice for Indigenous History Month, is Louise Bigeagle’s short doc To Wake Up the Nakota Language. Readers may now watch the short online for free following its premieres at DOXA Documentary Festival and Yorkton Film Festival.

Bigeagle is one of three filmmakers selected for the recent Doc Lab Saskatchewan, which saw collaboration between Creative Saskatchewan and the Saskatchewan Filmpool Cooperative. Her film is a promising production that continues the spirit of reconciliation and reparation by giving audiences words and images of diverse cultures within Canada that are at risk of being lost.

To Wake Up the Nakota Lagnuage offers a conversation with Armand McArthur, one of the remaining Nakota speakers in Pheasant Rump First Nation, Treaty 4 territory, in southern Saskatchewan. McArthur shares words and wisdom as he reflects on this history of his people and tells their story in the native tongue. Bigeagle’s film looks to the future as McArthur endeavors to teach the Nakota language to younger members of the tribe and ensure the language is not forgotten.

Watch the film for free from the NFB.

To Wake Up the Nakota Language, Louise BigEagle, provided by the National Film Board of Canada