Shin-chi's Canoe (Canada, 14 min 30 sec)

Directed by: Allan Hopkins

Set in the early 1960's, the story begins the morning that seven year-old Shin-chi is to leave home and attend is first year at an Indian Residential School. Shin-Chi and his older sister, Shi-Shi-etko must say good-by to their Yayah (grandmother) and their mother and father. While the children wait for the truck to come and pick them up they ask their father to build them their very own canoe for the next summer. Finally, they are loaded onto a truck with other Native children and many hours later they arrive at the school. Before the brother and sister are separated and forbidden to speak to each other for the next ten months, Shi-Shi-etcko hands Shin-chi a tiny cedar canoe that was carved by their father. At night Shin-chi can't sleep and he holds the canoe to his face and the sweet smell of cedar reminds him of his father. He remembers that his dad told him that when the sockeye salmon come in the summertime, that's when he can go home again. Over the next several months Shin-chi tries to adjust to the residential school's strict routine of religious devotion, work, and classes. Shin-chi is always hungry, so with a new friend, he steals food. In early Spring he checks a nearby stream to see if the sockeye salmon have started their run, but its still many long months before they come. Then the day finally arrives when Shin-Chi and Shi-Shi-etko can return to their home. The children find that while away their father as built them their very own cedar canoe. With great joy the entire family goes to the lake and launches the new canoe.