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Video Review: The Meaning of Life

Editor, Michaela
June 4, 2015

Source: (2008) Dir. Hugh Brody. Prod. in collaboration with the University of the Fraser Valley.

The inmates at Canada’s minimum-security prison Kwikwexwelhp are part of a program modeled on Aboriginal spirituality practices of healing a person’s soul first. The inmates, who are a mix of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people, learn how to be their own agents through productivity and acceptance of their crimes and their pasts. The prison works in partnership with a local Aboriginal community called Chehalis to connect the inmates with a life outside of the prison system. Many inmates find a chance to reconnect with their Aboriginal heritage and explore native expressions of spirituality without being forced into a mold of white Christianity, although the embrace of native spirituality is considered optional. Both the staff members and the community of Chehalis encourage transformation, while also affirming the inmates’ personhood, worth, and abilities.


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