The Ballad of Crowfoot

The Ballad of Crowfoot

In the acclaimed The Ballad of Crowfoot by Willie Dunn, a dynamic editing juxtaposes archival photos with Dunn’s ballad. This heart-wrenching and painful mix of music and image unfolds the story of both Canada’s indigenous people and Crowfoot, the legendary chief of the Blackfeet tribe.

Screening Schedule

No physical screenings scheduled.

Direction: Willie Dunn
Script: Willie Dunn
Music: Willie Dunn
Production: National Film Board of Canada
Producers: Barrie Howells
Format: Digital file
Color: B/W
Production Country: Canada
Production Year: 1968
Duration: 10΄
Contact: National Film Board of Canada
Awards/Distinctions: Gold Hugo for Best Short Film – Chicago IFF 1969, Blue Ribbon – Itinerant American Film and Video Festival 1970, First Prize, Mention – SODRE International Festival of Documentary and experimental Films 1971

Photographs courtesy of: Notman Archives, McCord Museum, McGill University; United Church Archives,Victoria University; Royal Canadian Mounted Police; Public Archives of Canada

Willie Dunn

Willie Dunn (1941–2013) was a Canadian singer-songwriter and film director. He was of mixed Mi'kmaq and Scottish/Irish background. Born in Montreal, he released several full-length albums of recorded music including Willie Dunn (1971), The Pacific (1980), and Metallic (1999). He wrote a song entitled “The Ballad of Crowfoot” and directed a ten-minute National Film Board of Canada film of the same name in 1968. Both the song and video are about the inhumane and unjust colonial treatment of indigenous Canadians. The first NFB film directed by an indigenous filmmaker, the film received several awards including a Gold Hugo for best short film at the 1969 Chicago International Film Festival.


1968 The Ballad of Crowfoot (short)
1969 These Are My People... (short, co-direction)
1972 The Other Side of the Ledger: An Indian View of the Hudson’s Bay Company (short, co-direction)