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A documentary outlining the history of the residential school system 
and its affect on generations of First Nations’ people


Residential Schools operated in Canada from the 1800's until 1996. These schools were a primary weapon of the government and the missionaries in their attempt to systematically destroy Native culture. Generations of First Nations people have been scarred from the affects of that policy.

Grand Chief Phil Fontaine (a residential school survivor) said, "The first step in healing is disclosure."

In this spirit, "Sleeping Children Awake" illuminates the voices of the many former residents and their families, including Elijah Harper(M.P.) and the late Art Solomon ( Elder, Author).

These recollections and experiences are bridged with dramatic excerpts from Shirley Cheechoo's autobiographical play, "Path with No Moccasins". Shirley shares an emotional account of her experiences in residential school, a subsequent destructive lifestyle and her journey back into wholeness.

The documentary features the songs of Maria Linklater and artwork of various accomplished artists. "Sleeping Children Awake" is both a personal record of this nations' history and a tribute to the enduring strength of Native Cultures.

Quewich, the great, great- grandfather of Janice Acoose with three youngsters. Qu'Appelle Valley, Saskatchewan, late 1800's.


Dreamspeaker’s Festival:
An International Aboriginal Culture, Arts and Film Festival
Award of Recognition, Edmonton, Alberta 1994

American Indian Film Festival:
Selected for Screening San Francisco, California 1993

Can Pro Award:
Best Canadian Documentary 1993

Canadian Association of Broadcasting:
Gold Ribbon Award Finalist in Public Affairs 1993

Iris Awards:
Finalist- Combating Racism / Religious Intolerance 1993

Truth And Reconciliation Commission Of Canada: 
Certificate of Acknowledgement & Selected for Screening 
at National Events,
Manitoba 2010 & Saskatchewan 2012

Sleeping Children Awake 1992
Runtime 50min 50Sec

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