Niigaanibatowaad: FrontRunners tells the story of 10 athletes turned away from the 1967 Pan American Games
The film is a documentary by the national film board focusing on the 800 kilometer run by 10 Indigenous athletes, 9 of which were residential school survivors to the Pan American Games in 1967. When the runners arrived carrying the torch they were turned away at the gate and had to hand the torch over to a non-indigenous runner.
This event kicks off with a 80km run from Cape Croker to the Meaford Hall as a tribute to the original runners.
During an interview with Bayshore Broadcasting Laura Robinson, the films writer and co-producer has worked with the original runners for 20 years she stressed that the film can still be hard for the runners to watch.
"Some of the runners still have a hard time viewing the movie, it takes them back to the residential school. But they are always overjoyed by the support of local indigenous youths."
2 of the original ten runners will be at the films Meaford showing. Show time is at 7'oclock on April 14th at the Meaford Hall. Elders and Chiefs from the Saugeen Ojibway Nation are also expected.
There is no charge to view the film but donations that exceed the cost of the event will go towards Indigenous wellness and cultural programs at the M'Wikwedong Native Cultural Resource Centre.