Documentary short in post-production, release in FALL 2019
A Passamaquoddy grandmother goes on a mission of forgiveness and ends up finding herself.
about the film
In 1939 at age two Georgina Sappier-Richardson was removed from her home and Passamaquoddy community in downeast Maine by child protection services. She spent the next 16 years in 4 different foster homes. Terror and abuse followed, and she never saw her parents again. Georgina is just one of hundreds of thousands of Indigenous children with similar stories.
Georgina (working title) follows this Passamaquoddy elder from Motahkomikuk as she tries to fill in the blurry outlines of her identity. Now a grandmother and summer visitor to her home community, Georgina attempts to re-integrate.
She remembers, “When I was 30 years old and I went back to the reservation this Indian lady told me, ‘You look exactly like your mother as a young person.’ So that made me feel special, made me feel real.”
But despite her gregarious personality and infectious laugh, she remains an outsider straddling two different worlds. This propels Georgina’s lifelong mission to find herself. At the end, she travels to her foster community in northern Maine. Determined to reclaim some fragment of her lost childhood she makes an extraordinary discovery, but will it help lifelong wounds?
Filmmakers: Adam Mazo and Ben Pender-Cudlip
Producers: Adam Mazo, Tracy Rector (Choctaw/Seminole), N. Bruce Duthu (Houma)
Editor: Kristen Salerno
Learning Director: Mishy Lesser, Ed.D.
Linguistic Consultant: Roger Paul (Passamaquoddy)
The film will focus on a single example of the lifelong impact of Indigenous child removal. The companion learning resources will help teachers understand how historical and intergenerational trauma influence the emotional lives of children and young people, some of whom are in their classrooms. It will also link Georgina's story to the more recent separation of children from their families at international borders.. This material will become part of the Dawnland Teacher’s Guide.