Or How I was on a Panel with so many Amazing Ladies
There's a problem with Native culture where there's an unspoken belief that the success of one person is at the expense of another. I met Alanis Obomsawin recently and she said that jealousy is so prevalent amongst our people and it needs to be eradicated. Vitriol would always come up back home on the reserve whenever anyone would tell anyone else about their good day, their success or whatever. This is best represented by this comedy sketch Craig Lauzon did where he mentions his brother thought Craig thinks he's "better than everyone" cause he left the Rez.
Cause the worst insult a Native can throw at a Native is, "You think you're better than everyone?"
Personally, I've never felt that any success I've got has been at the expense of someone else. I've worked hard for my degrees and to keep the funding I received. I've worked hard at jobs I've had to be really good at them. I also prepared for 2 weeks to be ready for a film pitch at Gimli Film Festival in 2014 (that I won). And it hurts when people imply that my success hurts someone else.
Hence why I was happy to be around the ladies at Native Women and Film. It's a week long event focusing on female filmmakers and their films focusing on Native issues. And everyone was AMAZING and insanely talented. I got asked to show Crash Site and I was really honoured to be amongst the likes of Amanda Strong, Jennifer Dysart, Jessie Short and others, all ladies I really admire.
Getting to meet these ladies made me feel like Po from Kung Fu Panda meeting the Furious Five: I've held these ladies in high regard and basically internally nerded out over them when I got to meet them (particularly Elle Maija who's film I saw for the first time last night and really loved). And I felt really great that Crash Site was chosen to be shown with films like Mia and Bihhtos Rebel. I kept thinking about what Alanis said (who all the ladies held in high esteem). I couldn't imagine feeling jealous of these ladies. All I could feel was amazement that I was there and intense nerd like enthusiasm to be seated with them. Like with Alanis, all I wanted to do was make more films to show these women I met last night and make them proud. Success for any of us is success for all of us and it gives us all more opportunities.
Support people, people! Can't we all just get along?