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Mother of Many Children

Director Alanis Obomsawin (Abenaki)
Year 1977
Run Time 58min
Genre Documentary

In this first feature from legendary documentarian Alanis Obomsawin, she examines the role of motherhood in Indigenous society and how it has developed in the modern era. In examining the lives of women from birth to old age and all maturing in between, Obomsawin gives an intimate view into the customs, cultures and oral traditions that define these matriarchal societies. Filled with compelling emotional moments, this documentary is a powerful and moving experience.

As the first feature length documentary by an Indigenous woman, Mother of Many Children represents a turning point in Indigenous film, as well as beginning the career of one of Canada’s most important and iconic filmmakers.


Alanis Obomsawin (Abenaki)

Legendary Abenaki filmmaker Obomsawin has made over 50 documentaries on issues affecting Indigenous peoples in Canada, including Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance, Trick or Treaty?, Is the Crown at War with Us?, Our People Will Be Healed and Jordan River Anderson, The Messenger. Her most recent film is the short documentary Honour to Senator Murray Sinclair. Next, she is set to appear in an episode of Marie Clements’ Bones of Crows: The Series.


Alanis Obomsawin (Abenaki)


Alanis Obomsawin (Abenaki)


Alanis Obomsawin (Abenaki)




BIPOC Stories, Family Relationships, Female Filmmaker, History, Indigenous Filmmaker

Original Language


Canadian Distributor

National Film Board (NFB)