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Experimental Eskimos, The

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Grade Level: SrH-Adult
Producer: White Pine Pictures
Closed Captioned: Yes
Running Time: 70 mins
Country of Origin: Canada
Study Guide: No

Copyright Date: 2009
Available in French: Yes

"I don't regret the experience, but I have never recovered from it." - Zebedee Nungak

The Experimental Eskimos documents an extraordinary attempt at social engineering. The film follows Peter Ittinuar, Zebedee Nungak and Eric Tagoona, who, as 12-year-old boys, were shipped South in the early 1960s from their homes in the Canadian Arctic to attend public schools in Ottawa.

All three went on to become activists and leaders, paving the way for aboriginal rights in Canada and around the world. Peter Ittinuar became Canada's first Inuk Member of Parliament, Zebedee Nungak became president of the major economic and political organization, Makivik, and Eric Tagoona became president of the Inuit Tapirisat of Canada – the first Inuit political lobbying organization.

But the experiment also deprived them of their parents, their language, and their culture.

This film is the untold story of how an experiment in social engineering not only changed the boys, but changed a nation.

Directed by Palme d'Or Award-winning filmmaker Barry Greenwald and produced by Emmy Award-winning Peter Raymont, the film features a wealth of forgotten archival footage, family photos and government documents.

Also available in French: Le projet expérimental Esquimaux