The Pass System illuminates Canada’s hidden history of racial segregation. For over 60 years, the Canadian government denied many Indigenous peoples the basic freedom to leave their reserves without a pass. Nehiyaw, Saulteaux, Dene, Ojibwe and Niitsitapi elders tell their stories of living under and resisting the system, and link their experiences to today. Renowned artists and scholars give context to the on-going legacy of the system. Acclaimed actor and activist Tantoo Cardinal (Stumptown, Dances with Wolves, Legends of the Fall), narrates this investigative look into a little-known Canada, with music by award-winning composer Cris Derksen.
Proceeds from your rental of the film will be donated to organizations that support Indigenous filmmaking.
Written, Produced & Directed by Alex Williams
Executive Producer James Cullingham
Narration Tantoo Cardinal
Music Composed and Performed by Cris Derksen
Cinematography Alex Williams
Editor Igal Hecht
The Pass System is an independent production by Alex Williams made with assistance from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council and the Toronto Arts Council, with many community supporters, produced in association with Tamarack Productions and distributed in Canada by VTape.
IN THE MEDIA
Dark history of Canada’s First Nations Pass System Uncovered in Documentary CBC NEWS
Conflict, Coercion, and Settler Colonialism in Western Canada CANADIAN DIMENSION
‘The Pass System’ explores dark chapter in Canadian history TORONTO STAR
The Pass System: illegal confinement of “rebel Indians” APTN INFOCUS
First Nation reserves prior to 1960s were ‘open-air prisons’ REGINA LEADER-POST
Canada’s Secret History of Segregation NOW
See full list of media here