Alanis Obomsawin receives honorary degree

June 26, 2023 by Denise Ing

The Cinema Studies Institute nominated, with help from Innis College and the Centre for Indigenous Studies, the great filmmaker, artist, and activist Alanis Obomsawin for an honorary degree at the University of Toronto. On June 19, Dr. Obomsawin received her degree alongside Innis College graduands. She addressed the graduating students at the convocation ceremony and was recognized with an honour song on drum. 

Alanis Obomsawin receives honorary degree on June 19, 2023. Photo credit: Lisa Sakulensky
(l-r) Prof. James Leo Cahill, Dr. Alanis Obomsawin, Chancellor Rose Patten and President Meric Gertler. Photo credit: Lisa Sakulensky

The day before, on June 18, An Afternoon with Alanis Obomsawin took place. Two of Dr. Obomsawin's fims, When All the Leaves are Gone (2010, 17 min.) and Honour to Senator Murray Sinclair (2021, 30 min.) were screened at Innis Town Hall, followed by a discussion with the director moderated by Kerry Swanson, Chief Executive Officer of the Indigenous Screen Office. 

An Afternoon with Alanis Obomsawin on June 18, 2023. Photo credit: James Leo Cahill
(l-r) Kerry Swanson and Alanis Obomsawin. Photo credit: James Leo Cahill

The Cinema Studies Institute nomination committee members were James Leo Cahill, Corinn Columpar, Charlie Keil and Ennis Blentic. Jesse Wente and Dale Turner (interim head of the Centre for Indigenous Studies) strongly supported the nomination. 

Dr. Obomsawin is a member of the Abenaki nation and best known for such extraordinary films as Christmas at Moose Factory, Incident at Restigouche, Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance, Trick or Treaty, and Our People Will be Healed.

Congratulations to Dr. Alanis Obomsawin.