Musician and filmmaker Dwayne Cloes is helping bring history alive

Working on documentaries about the residential schools tragedy has become something of a mission

I’m a great believer in serendipitous moments and one of those occurred last week when I bumped into a previous Spotlight podcast guest—Tara Duff Cloes, who owns John Duff Ltd. in Petrolia.

Tara and her general manager were lunching at Crabby Joe’s and I was returning to my table. She introduced me and then suggested I reach out to her husband, filmmaker Dwayne Cloes.

Dwayne, she explained, is doing some amazing things around the subject of First Nations’ experiences with residential schools, a Canadian tragedy that has impacted generations in untold ways.

Dwayne and I connected almost immediately and we had a great conversation about his work, his background as a musician, and his passion for telling the story of how the residential schools experience has impacted so many over the years.

One of his documentaries is “We Are Still Here,” which chronicles some of the recollections of “survivors”—those who came out of residential schools (and not all did).

“This is not something that people should ‘get over,'” Dwayne said in our conversation. “It’s a part of Canadian history and it needs to be talked about.”

He has also produced a sequel to “We Are Still Here”—a film entitled “Aftershock: the Second Generation Speaks.”

I hope you enjoy our conversation and trust that you’ll share with your network!

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