Speaking of Spirits

Eva Riemens

Speaking of Spirits or âtayôhkêwin in Plains Cree is a term used for telling sacred stories and legends. This film explores different forms of Indigenous storytelling throughout Toronto and Saskatchewan, Canada. It connects Plains Indian Sign Language, art, activism, and traditional oral storytelling to create a multi-layered understanding of what stories are being told by peoples of the Plains Cree Nation and Haudenosaunee Confederacy in settler state Canada. The film sheds light on the importance of Native languages and Indigenous stories as ways of healing to colonized Indigenous peoples. The film juxtaposes urban and rural Indigenous experiences and critically addresses Indigenous and settler relations in modern-day Canada.

Director statement

Speaking of Spirits is part of a multimodal ethnographic research on Indigenous storytelling in Canada. The film showcases how several Indigenous protagonists search for healing through storytelling, dancing, singing, speaking their Native languages and other artistic expressions.
The film displays how Indigenous artists, researchers and teachers are actively keeping their traditions and spirits alive despite living in a settler society.

Poster - Speaking of Spirits



Eva Riemens
Eva Riemens

Eva Riemens is a Dutch filmmaker with a background in art and anthropology. During her MA, she has explored her interest in collaborative ethnography that challenges traditional power dynamics and presentations of truth. In her first visual ethnographic research, Eva followed a community of Vert skaters in Amsterdam. Her second short film titled ‘Speaking of Spirits’ addresses several modes of Indigenous storytelling in Canada. She is currently creating a second film in collaboration with Floyd Favel from Miyawata Culture at Poundmaker Cree Nation.

Speaking of Spirits - Eva Riemens
toang - Rizky Maulana Yanuar
EL SECANO AÚN VIVE - Ruben van Rijn
My Life, My Story - Fleur Roovers
heem - Jara van den Bosch
Postcolonial Sentiments - Hannah Bults
Voices in Nature - Maarten Bekhuis
Nostalgie paralysante - Sabrine Mdaghri
How much longer - Ann-Kristin Mueller
Drag Kings and Creatures - Sarah Bozuwa
Multi-Love - Mowgli Legein
Proud to Sport - Lotte van den Hanenberg
Buurland - Malìn van Weerdenburg
Melmin - Loes Moree
Birds - Marlissa Hilkmann
Is There Anybody Out There? - Mischa Huijsmans
F*ck Endo - Wilke Geurds
Making Malta Home - Leanne Leendertse
Would you want your kids to do this - Max Condon
I am you and you are me - Janna Vink
The battle against floods - Kyra van Meijgaarden