By Brad Leitch
For decades, rumors have spread throughout the village of Laird, Saskatchewan. Stories go that native people have entered the town, fired off guns and approached shopkeepers and town officials. The indigenous activists that entered the town say that a treaty signed between their people and the government of Canada states the land of the locals actually belongs to an indigenous first nation. When a group of church people in the town of Laird discover that the land they live on is in fact the former reserve of the Young Chippewayan First Nation, they are forced to acknowledge the history that has brought them to their present confrontation.
The chief and descendant of the Young Chippewayan Band decide to invite the local community to a meeting at the central site of the former reserve as members in the town remain on edge. But on the day of the event, the Young Chippewayan’s prepare a party, filled with storytelling and celebration. The party propels locals in the community to sign a memorandum and ultimately pursue justice alongside their new friends.
In 2016, there are many unsettled land claims across Canada that create ongoing conflict and hostility between settler-Canadians and First Nations people. This film, Reserve 107, presents a story unlike any other in Canada, where indigenous and non-indigenous people choose to come together to share their stories, overcome personal obstacles, and seek to repair a century old land injustice.
“This is a fantastic and important film that excels technically and emotionally. It’s a heartwarming look at how those who were displaced are working together with the white farmers and families that now own the land.” ~Amy Magnus (judge)