Preservation or exploitation? New film explores musicologist’s motivation in recording First Nations chief

 By Odette Auger, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter Acimow Media has wrapped up filming Forbidden Music for Knowledge Network. The feature-length documentary explores Indigenous music rights and ownership, and how Chief Mungo Martin (Kwakwaka’wakw) worked to protect 123 traditional First Nations songs from disappearing through government assimilation tactics. It is the fourth documentary by producer and director Barbara Todd Hager (Metis, Cree). Completing 16 days of filming in Austria, Canada and the United States, Windspeaker spoke to Hager as she entered post-production editing. The documentary tells the story of Austrian-born Jewish ethnomusicologist Dr. Ida Halpern and artist and singer Chief Martin, who worked together to record songs threatened by the potlatch ban as set out in the Indian Act from 1885 to 1951 and the removal of Indigenous children to residential…

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