National Film Board Of Canada Pulls ‘Inconvenient Indian’ From Festival Circuit After Director Apologizes For Claiming Indigenous Roots

Michelle Latimer
'Inconvenient Indian' director Michelle Latimer Mega Agency

The National Film Board of Canada announced Tuesday that it will withdraw Michelle Latimer’s documentary Inconvenient Indian from “active distribution.”

“The film will be withdrawn from all upcoming festivals, including the 2021 Sundance Film Festival,” the NFB said in a statement.

Aiding the Board in its decision to pull the doc were Indigenous participants who appear in the film, the NFB’s Indigenous Advisory Group and industry partners. The doc’s withdrawal comes nearly a week after Latimer’s claims about her Indigenous identity came under fire.

While promoting her film, which is an adaptation of Thomas King’s non-fiction book of the same name, the Thunder Bay native stated that she claims family roots in Canada’s Quebec Algonquin community.

Members of the Kitigan Zibi nation questioned the legitimacy of the filmmaker’s claims. As a result, Latimer apologized with a statement.

“I now realize that I made a mistake in naming Kitigan Zibi as my family‚Äôs community before doing the work to formally verify this linkage,” Latimer wrote in a lengthy Facebook apology. “I understand that there is an important difference between having this ancestry verified by the community of Kitigan Zibi and having it named and validated by members of my own family. I apologize and hold myself accountable for the impact this has had on the community of Kitigan Zibi and the Metis Nation.”

Inconvenient Indian, which was set to bow in 2021 at festivals including Sundance, seeks to spotlight the stories of Indigenous activists, land protectors, hunters and more as they seek to subvert the “inconvenience” of their existence.

“Over the coming weeks and months, we will continue to dialogue and engage with Indigenous communities to explore an accountable path forward for the film,” the NFB statement adds.

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