In her latest film, celebrated Abenaki director Alanis Obomsawin tells the story of Jordan River Anderson, and how as a result of his short life, thousands of Indigenous children today have health care equal to that enjoyed by the rest of Canadians.
Because of Jordan’s Indian status, a dispute arose between the governments of Canada and Manitoba over who was responsible for his care, and Jordan did not receive the appropriate home-based services that would have allowed him to end his life in his own community.
Jordan’s Principle was passed into law by the House of Commons, and the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal issued a ruling guaranteeing access to care, yet many Indigenous patients still face a denial of services. It took sustained commitment and the issuance of several mandatory orders for justice to be done.
The very timely Jordan River Anderson, The Messenger completes, on an optimistic note, the film cycle devoted to the rights of Indigenous children and peoples that began with The People of the Kattawapiskak River.