Friday, 2 March 2012

The Thick Dark Fog interview with Randy Vasquez & Jonathan Skurnik

This is an interview with  Randy Vasquez and Jonathan Skurnik about their film The Thick Dark Fog which deals with issues found on Indian Residential Schools (Indian Boarding Schools) in the United States. The principal story looks at the experiences of survivor Walter Littlemoon of Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. His experiences offer a tragic account of too often common life changing situations thrust upon young First Nations children in Canada and the United States.

Click here to learn more (Podcast)
supplementary information

Photo of Walter Littlemoon\


Ouellette, Robert-Falcon. (Director) (2012. March 2). At the Edge of Canada: Indigenous Research. The Thick Dark Fog interview with Randy Vasquez & Jonathan Skurnik[Audio podcast]. Retrieved from  
Ouellette, Robert-Falcon, dir. "The Thick Dark Fog interview with Randy Vasquez & Jonathan Skurnik." At the Edge of Canada: Indigenous Research.. N.p., 02 2012. web. March 02, 2012. < ›


  1. Hello Friends.........

    Great information.Thanks for sharing this useful information with all of us.Keep sharing more in the future.

    Have a nice time ahead.


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  3. The topic of residential schools is one that never seems to be exhausted. Each new story brings new perspective to the history and impact of this chapter in history. This podcast was interesting in its focus on the American history of residential schools, which I know very little about.
    Listening to the interviews, it seems the experiences of the American students closely parallels those of Canadian ones, but that the resulting fallout in the government and the lack of public education on the subject is nearly completely absent.
    I remember learning about Japanese and Ukrainian internment camps while visiting a museum in Alaska in 2005. The Alaskan exhibit had been on the mistreatment of Chinese immigrants to build the Alaska highway, and listed Canada’s transgressions against immigrants as comparable. I was with my mother, and astonished that I’d never heard of this before. She was able to tell me a little bit about it, and also the mistreatment of Chinese immigrants during the building of the railway. I felt very ignorant, but also betrayed by my education, and wondered what else we’d never learned in school, and how a country as supposedly humble and self-aware as Canada was shielding our children from the truths of our past.
    I didn’t learn about Residential schools in my school, either. I remember watching a movie as a child (I have no idea what the movie was) about it and being absolutely terrified at the scenes of children being taken from their families in cars and even helicopters. I recall asking my parents what was going on, and them trying to explain, and me not really understanding why these kids couldn’t stay with their families. I remember asking what that mom in the movie had done that was so bad that her kids were being taken away.
    Usually, as Canadians, we can listen to our American neighbours talk about their shortcomings and feel pretty smug about it. I’d even say it’s part of our culture to feel smug about our perceived self-awareness and enlightenment when compared to Americans. It would be tempting to feel smug that we’ve had an apology, and an act of retribution for these dark chapters, but with the information only being shared through media and personal experience, and not integrated into our school lives, are we really that enlightened?
    I’m happy to report that my 15-year-old step-daughter has said she learned “TONS” about residential school and wartime interment camps. She said to me, “Residential schools is like, the easiest thing to write about because we spent SO MUCH time on that.”
    Perhaps America, like Canada will evolve to re-teaching these topics in a few years, as Canada has in the past 20 or so. From the attitudes of the filmmakers, an apology or act of restitution is a far way off, but surely education would be the first step.