Distributor:  National Film Board of Canada
Length:  29 minutes
Date:  1986
Genre:  Expository
Language:  English
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Richard Cardinal: Cry from a Diary of a Métis Child

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The story of Richard Cardinal, a Métis child separated from his parents at four, and in and out of 28 foster homes, group homes and shelters before committing suicide at the age of 17.

Richard Cardinal: Cry from a Diary of a Métis Child

A moving tribute to Richard Cardinal, a Métis adolescent who committed suicide in 1984. He had been taken from his home at the age of four because of family problems, and spent the rest of his seventeen short years moving in and out of twenty-eight foster homes, group homes and shelters in Alberta. A sensitive, articulate young man, Richard Cardinal left behind a diary upon which this film is based

This was a very special film for me. When I learned of Richard's death, I went to visit the last set of foster parents he'd had. I wasn't thinking of making the film at the time. I went as if I were a relation of Richard's. I didn't want them to regret the fact that they had taken him as a foster child. It was to converse with them in terms of our situation and I learned that they didn't know anything about First Nations people and I felt very bad for them. I went mainly to tell them about our situation and our children who are in need of parents. It was out of this visit that the film was born. — Alanis Obomsawin


Estonia, Parnu, Visual Anthropology Festival, 15-Sep-1991,USA, New York, Itinerant - American Film and Video Festival, 23-May-1988, USA, Oakland, National Educational Film and Video Festival, 17-May-1989, USA, San Francisco, Annual American Indian Film Festival, 13-Nov-1986


Main credits

Obomsawin, Alanis (film director)
Obomsawin, Alanis (screenwriter)
Obomsawin, Alanis (film producer)
Canell, Marrin (film producer)
Verrall, Robert Alan (film producer)
Mitchell, David (voice actor)
Swan, Cory (actor)
Kerik, Pauline (actor)
Smith, Betty (actor)
Miller, Leslie (actor)

Other credits

Edited by Rita Roy; camera, Roger Rochat; original music composed and performe by Dario Domingues.

Distributor credits

Docuseek2 subjects

Indigenous Studies
Family Issues
Youth Issues
Social Work
Child Development

Distributor subjects

Children and Youth
Aboriginal Peoples in Canada
Social Issues


; "Richard Cardinal: Cry from a Diary of a Metis Child"; National Film Board of Canada; foster care;

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