Lisa Forbes is an Aboriginal woman of Cree, Scottish and Métis background. She regained her Indian status, along with her mom and sister in 1987. Lisa currently lives in Winnipeg. Her mom, Mary-Lou Forbes, originally from Peguis First Nation, went to residential school in Birtle, Manitoba. Lisa underscores that residential schools had the capacity to be very successful in assimilating people and in breaking apart the bonds of culture, language and connection to land. She understands that the contemporary culture for Aboriginal people is the new learnings of our ancestors who went to residential schools. This is a cultural truth for all Aboriginal peoples in Canada. Her story is about assimilation and what it looks like. There are some elements throughout the video which show the degree to which residential school was successful. For example, it speaks to the erosion of culture that took place between her and her mother. It is also about the degrees to which assimilation wasn’t successful in regards to culture. Her video also explores the emotional distance and loss she feels regarding her mother.
What was really important about sharing her story, along with the other filmmakers, is that she feels less alone. The process of listening to and sharing each other’s painful, touching and emotional life experiences ultimately created deep personal connections between them. Her hope is that more Aboriginal people tell their stories.