23 May 2009

Yet another celebration of diversity

Whatever happened to... "One People, One Law"?

One inmate named Darcy, who murdered his in-laws and his wife, says, “I'm not going to let their deaths be in vain.”

Murderers, rapists and contract killers, they have spent much of their adult lives behind bars. But this place, known as Kwikwexwelhp, has no bars. It barely has fences.
And while a typical Canadian would likely be angered and appalled by this taxpayer funded adventure in social engineering... English film-maker Hugh Brody is simply thrilled to pieces.
An author, anthropologist and filmmaker who has been shuttling between England, his birthplace, and Canada for 30 years, Brody initially asked permission to visit Kwikwexwelhp and talk to some of the younger inmates.

What he found when he arrived startled him: “I was immediately surprised by the openness,” he recalls. “Not just the beauty of the setting, but the way you couldn't tell who was on staff and who was imprisoned.”
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RELATED: You too... can be aboriginal

Just ask convicted Toronto cop-killer Craig Munro...
Thursday's hearing will take place at his minimum-security prison, Kwikwexwelhp Healing Village, which puts aboriginal spirituality at the centre of its rehabilitation program.

Munro is not aboriginal but has converted to native teachings.
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3 comments:

Neo Conservative said...

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[full text follows]

Vancouver — From Friday's Globe and Mail, Saturday, May. 23, 2009 03:25AM EDT Fiona Morrow --

At a British Columbian prison run in collaboration with the Chehalis Nation, the inmates have committed the most heinous crimes imaginable. Murderers, rapists and contract killers, they have spent much of their adult lives behind bars. But this place, known as Kwikwexwelhp, has no bars. It barely has fences.

At the end of a long, switchback dirt road in the Fraser Valley, the institution is nestled in glorious scenery next to a salmon-filled river. This may be a jail, but it is also a healing centre, a place where first-nation elders open their hearts to men who have largely been abandoned by society.

Their stories are the focus of The Meaning of Life – one of 75 films at this year's DOXA Documentary Film Festival, which opens Friday in Vancouver and runs for 10 days. Director Hugh Brody spent almost three years following 19 inmates, allowing their words to shape the direction of his film.

An author, anthropologist and filmmaker who has been shuttling between England, his birthplace, and Canada for 30 years, Brody initially asked permission to visit Kwikwexwelhp and talk to some of the younger inmates. What he found when he arrived startled him: “I was immediately surprised by the openness,” he recalls. “Not just the beauty of the setting, but the way you couldn't tell who was on staff and who was imprisoned.”

As he was granted ever greater access to the site and the men, the possibilities of what his film might become changed enormously. “I knew there must be a film in there, just not what that film was,” Brody explains. “We worked in the best tradition of documentary filmmaking and lost ourselves in the material without having a predetermined script.”

At Kwikwexwelhp, he says, he just tried to listen as much as he could to the stories of the men he met – some young, some in their seventies, some aboriginal, some not. The result is a series of remarkably frank interviews about everything from abusive childhoods and sexual repression to the residential-school system. We also see murderers become carvers, bakers, gardeners and toy makers.

One inmate named Darcy, who murdered his in-laws and his wife, says, “I'm not going to let their deaths be in vain.”

Despite its successes, Kwikwexwelhp is not a panacea. Some men make it successfully to parole, others are returned to the regular prison system. But there is something deeply humanistic about this place and what it is trying to do.

At the centre of the facility and the film are two Chehalis elders: Arnold Ritchie and Rita Leon. Employed by the Correctional Service of Canada, the pair turn the focus away from the crime and onto the men themselves.

“I give them unconditional love,” says the septuagenarian Leon, known as Grandma, in the film. “I don't judge anybody. They get to trust me.”

The Meaning of Life screens Sunday May 24 at 4:30 p.m. at the Vancity Theatre (1181 Seymour St.).
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Philanthropist said...

Bureaucrats in the Canadian government have absolutely no respect for the people of Canada, they're as evil as 'judges'.

Canadians who vote for the same 'soft on criminals' politicians may not mind being victimized, but the rest of us do.

kursk said...
This comment has been removed by the author.