“This powerful film draws from Elders’ memories and historical artifacts in order to detail the history of The Pass System – yet another example of the regulation and control of Indigenous people through colonial policies created by the Canadian State.”

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, and produced in association with Tamarack Productions and distributed in Canada by VTape.




Please contact V Tape to purchase a copy of the film for your organization, educational institution, or association, or for screening requests in your community. 

e: distribution@vtape.org or p: 416-351-1317


We’re almost ready yet for individual sales of the film, so please send us an email at info@thepasssystem.ca, to let us know you’re interested, and we’ll let you know when it’s available. Again, if you represent an educational institution or and organization, the film is available NOW. Contact Vtape at the above email or phone. You can also like the Facebook Page or follow us on twitter @thepasssystem, as we announce there.




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

© 2016 Alex Williams | Design: The L. Project (www.thelproject.ca)