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2014-04-14 at 13:35

Walking more miles

By Matt Vis,
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Walk-A-Mile is increasing its reach.

The city-backed, five-part documentary film, which focuses on the relationship between the city’s Aboriginal community and the rest of its residents is now available for purchase on DVD.

Proceeds from sales go toward creating a team of facilitators who will run workshops in conjunction with the film. Those facilitators would help guide conversations and underscore the messages the filmmakers worked to convey.

Once that is in place along with a curriculum, the city will work with groups such as school boards, college and university students to present the film and spread the message.

“It’s one thing to sit and watch the films and we certainly encourage people to do that, but the idea was to generate conversations in small and large groups of people in the community, workplaces and schools,” said city clerk John Hannam at the official DVD release on Monday.

“We think the addition of curriculum materials to help guide the conversations after viewing the films is really important and having somebody who is trained and facilitating them and making them available to people will help encourage its use that much more.”
City Aboriginal liaison Ann Magiskan says taking the project to the next step with workshops and facilitators will increase the effectiveness of the resources and work toward community building.

“It helps to break down what the messages are in each of the films,” Magiskan said.

“It will help break down a broader understanding and create community conversations to go along with the films.”

The film was first screened to the general public in February to a packed house at the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium and the initial reception was quite favourable.
There were 200 copies of the DVD spoken for on that night alone.

“The response we had at the premiere of the film was tremendous and the interest the community has expressed since has been ongoing,” Hannam said.

“We’re working on spreading the awareness of the films as far and wide as we can and when we have the curriculum material it will really see the films get put into use in the community and beyond.”

Hannam is hoping employers, church groups, rotary clubs and other local organizations see the film as a way to promote and encourage acceptance and understanding.

The film has been screened in Sioux Lookout to an anti-racism committee and Hannam recently showed the film to colleagues during a meeting in Ottawa.

He expects to be able to show the film throughout the region.

DVDs are available for purchase online or at the front counter on the main floor of city hall.

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