- Docu-Drama, Biography, and Personal Doc
Bill’s is a harrowing tale, yet he makes an important point: Indigenous people have an interesting story to tell, and yet, for many, their stories have not been told and shared with the world. Bill is both telling and promoting success stories over adversity and discrimination in the world. Bill has started a community-focused initiative which he is carrying out through the medium of film.
He is using this powerful art form to help mobilize his fellow Canadian Aboriginals; he’s also offering others equal opportunities by working together on artistic projects to help overcome some of the issues they face as a community.
Bill has taken what can only be described as traumatic life experiences and created an inspiring movement. He has a beautiful and inspiring life story, and this is compounded by his positive outlook in the face of everything he’s endured during his life. It’s fantastic that he’s both sharing his story and encouraging others to do the same.
- Show treatment
Indigenous Success Stories
Imagine the opening scene: parents wailing and children crying while someone from the Ministry of Social Services drags away one of this family's children and takes him to residential school at the age of 3.
The boy in question can't hear or understand what is happening. He was born deaf with club feet and a borderline mental disability. All he knows is that he is being wrenched from his mother and his family, and that there's something wrong with him and that he has no choice in his life.
This Documentary is a story of that small boy, a story that is sadly representative of many Canadian Aboriginals, who until recently, knew life only as a ward of the state. Their fate was decided not by their families or by themselves, but by those in authority.
He remembers the fateful day when he accidentally kicked a man in the shin with his over-sized shoes while at residential school, and says he wants to go home. The man grabbed this boy's arm out of anger and frustration and dragged him to the basement door, looks at him, puts his arm on his back and pushes the boy down the basement steps. He believes an angel saved him from death as he was whisked down the steps. Once he got to the bottom of the steps the principal runs down the steps, grabs the boy’s arm and put’s him in a 5x5 cage and puts handcuffs on his ankle so he would not escape. This boy is crying inside, and upset that he is not with his family, and he has no idea where he is and why.
What no one heard was the silent anguish, the confusion and distress that colors all of this boy's childhood. Can you hear it, his weeping, his mother's weeping?
He remembers many occasions where he was sitting in a chair, outside the office, in the hall of a residential school, not even knowing where he was, while people talked about what to do with him. Wondering why he was there, and who these people were, and wondering what they were saying about him, prompted this boy to learn to read lips.
It was a bit cold in the hallway as this boy sat there all alone, feeling so alone in the big world.
This documentary highlights how, until recently, Canadian Aboriginals were treated unfairly in every sense of the word. Many did not grow up with their families and endured inadequate foster care. This boy met his mother for the first time at age 40 years old. Others grew up in remote communities, with isolation, depression, poverty, substance abuse, inadequate medical care and almost no emotional support. Indigenous stories are but a few of the hardships endured by members of this community right across Canada.
Throughout this young boy's childhood, doctors and various specialists were of the opinion that he would need personal care the rest of his life, because of his disabilities. They believed he would never finish school because he was "a retard, stupid, and crippled.". If this wasn't enough, the boy was even rejected by some of his peers at school.
After multiple operations on his feet, he had to have casts on both his legs, from the tip of his toes to his hips, so he walked around like a zombie or a robot. The kids ran into him in the hallway, knocking the books out of his hands, and no one ever helped him pick his books up, not even the teachers.
A sense of despair prevailed, and it was difficult for him to comprehend even simple addition and subtraction problems. This boy had to bring home the work he didn't finish in school each day. He found the times tables hard. What is 2 x 2? He honestly didn't know.
Did this boy's foster mother care? No. He was hit on the hands with a big oversized ruler if he dared to use his fingers to work out the arithmetic answers. What was even more hurtful was that his foster mother called him a stupid idiot, throwing her arms up, yelling that he would never learn. She sometimes tried to beat it into this boy's head by shaking him and demanding to know what the answer was to 2 x 2, or what 2+2 equals. The more he panicked, and didn't answer the more he was beaten and shaken violently.
To this day, the boy believes that the teachers promoted him for the sake of passing him in elementary school, which was better than failing him in school. This boy went on through his initial years doing homework at home because he couldn't play outside. This boy was the victim of verbal abuse from the kids at school and suffered the same name calling at home. He was called, "stupid" and "a retard who would never learn.". The worst of it was getting hit, shaken and yelled at all the time by his foster mother.
This boy was forced to read and read and read before he went to bed. Then his foster mother expected him to relay what he had just read, but his comprehension were not up to par, so he had difficulties even remembering what he just read let alone being able to describe the plot to her. After a few minutes of not coming up with an answer, the hitting stage would start. The boy was afraid of his foster mother, which made him unable to think of answers to give her, and sometimes I wish she understood this.
One Friday after getting home from school, his foster mother grabbed his ear and dragged him to his bedroom and started banging his head on the dresser, all the while questioning him about a cup stain on it. You can imagine that this boy was terrified and scared to answer her question. Once his foster mother noticed that he was bleeding, she dragged him into the kitchen for more questioning, because she didn't want blood on her carpet. She went to raise her arm to hit this boy, and he stopped her and said, "don't hit me anymore.". Well, she was appalled at this and surprised that this boy would have the nerve to do this. She sent him to his room and told him to stay there until his father got home. His foster father arrived home like clockwork from the mill at 4:30 pm. The foster mother called her husband to the living room to talk about what this boy had done earlier. As people had always been doing throughout this boy's life, there was yet another discussion about what to do with him.
The foster dad went into this boy's room and punched him in the face, knocking him to the ground, and warned him never to bring dishes to his room again. This boy lay there in shock and wondered what had just happened. The foster dad went back into the living room to talk about him some more, and then his foster mother called the boy to the living room. The boy expected that he would be grounded, or get spanked, but he did not expect that he was being kicked out of the house at the age of 13 years old.
The former foster mother said to this boy: "We're giving you two weeks to get out. If you are not out, we're throwing your things out the back door". This boy stood there in total shock. The real reason he was getting kicked out is the social service brought the money down to 3 or 4 hundred dollars when they were used to getting a lot more because of this boy’s deficits. That’s what Mrs. Williams said as this boy was descending down the steps and when he got to the bottom, Mrs. Williams said that the real reason why we got you was because of the money.
This boy went to his social worker who tried to find him another foster home, but it seemed yet again that no one wanted him.
This boy died inside after he got kicked out of his foster parent's house at the age of 13 years old.
The social worker talked with her supervisor, and they agreed that the boy would go on independent living. At the age of 13, he moved out on his own.
It does not get any better. Far worse, if that can be imagined.
Two weeks later, this boy went for a walk on a beautiful sunny afternoon; this boy got tired of walking, he sat to rest on a bench. He was too tired to think, and sat there just looking around and observing things; something this boy had always done a lot of throughout his life, even to this day.
A van drove by and then stopped a short distance away and started to back up. The driver asked for directions. The boy pointed him in the direction that he needed to go, and the van began to drive away. But again the van stopped, and turned back to the boy, and asked him if he could show him the way that he was to go. The boy sat there thinking about it and agreed because the man said he would drop him off wherever he needed to be dropped off.
The man drove to an orange bridge where he promised to let off the boy so that the man could continue his journey.
However, the man didn't stop but kept driving and turned after the bridge onto a road that goes up into the mountains.
As you can imagine, this boy was terrified and was wondering what this man was doing. He drove for about a half an hour up the mountain and then stopped the van. He pulled out a knife. He told the boy to take his pants off, or he would kill him.
This boy's brain was going a million miles an hour, and he had no time to think; just take off his pant's or die. The boy took off his pant's. When the man finished with the boy, he said to take the rest of his clothes off, and put a knife up to his throat. So the boy took all of his clothes off, and the man started to drive off. Once the van was moving, he ordered the boy to get out. The boy was scared, and the man pulled out his knife and said, "Get out or I'll kill you.". The boy jumped out of the van, stark naked while it was still moving. As he drove off, and the boy was rolling, the boy somehow managed to get the last three digits of the man's license plate.
Left for dead up in the mountains, he notices a wild animal lurking in the bushes and notices that even the wild animal didn't want him, probably because he was too thin. Again this boy asked himself, as he always had: "Why Me?".
The boy eventually made it back to where he was living, and got help phoning the police, and the boy made it very clear that he didn't want to talk to a man. He explained what happened to the lady police officer. The police caught the guy
about two weeks later just as this man was getting ready to leave town and go after his next victim. The boy was notified and given instructions to go to court so he could identify the man that kidnapped him, raped him, almost killed him, and left him for dead up in the mountains. When the boy got called to the witness stand, he was scared because he had to walk past the man that hurt him. As he walked by this man, the man told him that he didn't kill him up in the mountains, but that he was going to kill him when he got out of jail.
After the trial was over, the boy went on with his life half-heartedly, always scared and plagued with nightmares of this man killing him. This man only got five years of prison time, which meant that he would only do three years with good behavior. Once the boy turned 16, this boy lived in fear every day of getting killed by this man. He always made sure that each time he made it home, his doors and windows were locked. Even when this boy was out in the community, he was scared of walking in dark alleys, and he turned at the slightest sound to see if that man was following him.
And now viewers will weep with him too, as this boy's story heads for the big screen. These days a successful filmmaker, this boy is using his storytelling skills to bring this true story to life.
As the documentary unfolds, viewers will see that Canada's culturally rich and diverse landscape owes much of its strength as a nation to the broad spectrum of people who inhabit this vast land, to whom this boy dedicates this movie to the First Nation's people of Canada! Once thought of as a minority group, the original inhabitants of Canada, our First Nation's people today make a significant contribution to the country's cultural landscape.
More First Nation's Canadians are in the television, motion pictures, and the arts industry than ever before and many more have businesses of their own or hold positions of influence in their communities, such as doctors, nurses, teachers, politicians and own their own business.
As strong as these recurring themes are, equally enduring are the stories of success and triumph over adversity that are particularly prevalent amongst today's generation. A growing number of First Nation's people, like this boy, are continuing through high school, and ever-increasing numbers are in college and university.
It's safe to say that while there is a still a long way to go, regarding tolerance, understanding and support, the cultural landscape of Canada is changing for the better. The success of every First Nation Canadian, like this boy, who has overcome extraordinary odds and tremendous adversity, is certainly a success story for First Nations in Canada. This boy was born with club feet, deaf in both ears, and with a borderline mental disability. He was rejected by a residential school and almost killed and because of his deficits, raised in foster homes only to be kicked out at the age of thirteen, and kidnapped, raped, almost killed, and left for dead up in the mountains stark naked by a man. Came to terms with himself to forgive this man for kidnapping him, raping him, almost killing him, and leaving him for dead up in the mountains.
This boy struggled to finish school and one of the most memorable moments in this boy's life was the day he graduated from High School. The principal made an announcement to the students that he didn't want to hear any clapping until
the last student had received their diploma. This boy was third from last, and as he approached the stage, he pondered all the hard years that he put in to get to where he was today. He thought to himself, "I did it! And as he pondered at the students, he said that they probably didn't even know that he was deaf in the early years of elementary school.".
The principal called this boy's name to receive his diploma; the principal couldn't even finish saying this boy's full name before the entire student body honoured this boy with a fifteen-minute standing ovation. That moment was the highlight of this boy's life! He knew then that he had accomplished a lot. His success was not only staying in school but finishing it. All of this boy's teachers from grade one to grade twelve were there, as well as the Ministry of Education, to witness this special child graduating.
Later on in his life, this boy went to live in Vancouver, BC, to see what he could do there. At about 22 years of age, this boy gets into the movie industry by playing background acting parts in different television shows as The X-Files, The Sentinels, and many, many others, with Hollywood North Extras. His last appearance in a movie was "Lake Placid" where he acted as one of the Game Wardens before he treks to Nanaimo, BC.
The boy is now a young man, helping out at a drop-in place in Nanaimo. On April 28th, 2000, he meets the girl who is now his wife. It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon when this boy met an excellent special person, and he loved her at first sight. He couldn't tell her for fear that she would run off. They took the time to get to know one another. One day they were walking downtown Nanaimo, and she noticed a women's consignment store that had a bunch of clothes on racks outside the store on the sidewalk.
She looked through the clothes, and this boy told her that he would pay for any clothes that she picked out. While she went to try on some of the clothes she liked, this boy saw a beautiful dress, and gave it to her, asking her to try it on. That was their first argument as she said she didn't wear dresses. This boy insisted that she try on the dress. She finally gave in and said "Ok.". She came out with the dress on, and she looked radiant! He noticed that she needed new shoes too, and bought her new shoes to go with the dress.
She took the clothes that she liked and the dress, and he walked her home. He told her to wear the dress because he was taking her out for dinner on Friday night. She was happy, and they both said their good nights. He called the Keg restaurant in Nanaimo and made a reservation for two for dinner on Friday evening. This boy picked up this beautiful girl in a dress, and they stopped at the local mall on the way to the restaurant and he bought her a rose.
When they got to the restaurant, the host asked for his name, and the boy told him. The boy had to cut him off before the host could spoil the surprise, by revealing the boy's plan to ask his girl to marry him. They ordered a dinner consisting of steak, baked potato, and veggies. They both got used to eating at the Salvation Army when finished their meal; they had to leave so the next person could eat. As his girl finished her lovely meal, she went to put on her coat, and the boy started to stammer and stumbled through his words. He went on to say, "Marriage is not like buying a used car; when you're tired of it, you throw it out.". This boy told her that he had little to offer her; no money, no house, no car; what he did have was this, and he reached into his pocket. He took his hands out of his pocket and began to shake his closed hands, and said: "Sssshhhhh", and then: "This is what I have to offer", and the boy opened up his hands, and said: "Love, will you marry me"? She melted, and said "Yes.".
As this couple carried on with their married life together, this boy got emotional once in a while, because he missed acting in Vancouver. So one day, his wife said: " Why don't you just start up your movie company?" At first it sounded far-fetched and nearly impossible. Then she slapped him into reality, and said: "That's what they have always said about you, that things would be impossible for you, and you proved them wrong.".
This boy looked on the internet to see what it would cost to start up his own business, and he found that it was too expensive. He left it alone, and a short while later he got an email from the registry stating that this boy had been on their site, and they had a deal for him. He thought it would be unrealistic and that they would probably only take off $5 or $10. As he kept reading on, he got more excited, because the special offer was only $39.00 to register a business if he acted quickly. So this boy registered the company in British Columbia, Canada.
His first project is a documentary on "Indigenous Success Stories" with the primary focus on this boy's success story and his extraordinary life. This boy will use his history being in the film and television industry, such as the X-Files, The Sentinel, and movies like Free Willie 3 as a background actor. His last movie he was in was Lake Placid where he played a Game Warden. He had one line that was a reply to the angered sheriff who walks into the tent, and he says "hay," the part where this boy was dancing and having a good time, this boy looked to the sheriff and said: "Hay.".
Later on in their marriage this boy revealed to his wife what had happened to him: his tale of being kidnapped, raped, almost killed, and left for dead up in the mountains. He believed that the man is now passed on. His wife was shocked at how much this boy had endured growing up. This boy said that he needed to go to the mountain where he was left for dead so he could forgive the man and let go of that part of his life. They went to the mountain where he looked around, lifted his hand in peace, and said: "I forgive you for kidnapping me, raping me, almost killing me and leaving me for dead up in the mountains, and I let you go.". He felt his spirit leave him, finally. From that moment forward, this boy's life has been at peace.
Today this boy acts as an advocate for those families that are about to kick out their children, and stop them from doing it; he has been doing that now for 33 years, as well as advocate for First Nation's people in court, probation, police, and other social service agencies.
This boy drives the First Nation's people from Gold River, BC to Campbell River, BC to take them shopping, and then drives them back home. This boy helps band members at home in Gold River, BC with their computers, he does minor repairs and cleans them and re-install Windows operating system if need be.
On November 22, 2012, this boy was asked to address the Senate Committee from Ottawa in Vancouver, BC to talk about the Human Rights of Aboriginal People of Canada. A chance that he had been waiting to do his whole life. This boy's friend asked him upon returning home, "Aren't you tired of being on this side of the table, don't you ever want to be on the other side of the table"? This boy asked: "What do you mean"? He said: "With all the experience that you have, you joined the BC Youth Parliament when you were in Grade 10, and now an alumni to the BC Youth Parliament. You are President of International United Native Nation 510, which is a political organization; you should start up your political party". This boy thought this was very far fetched that he would never be able to do this, and this boy's friend said: "That's what they have always said about you, that it is impossible to do, and yet you continue to succeed at whatever you put your mind to". So after looking into the matter, this boy started the First Nation's Party of BC, and this boy has to generate membership before he can register the Party.
With this Documentary series this boy who owns BGW FILM STUDIOS INC production company, he wants to film Indigenous Success Stories series. This boy wants to document those First Nation's People that are doctors, nurses, teachers, politicians, and those that have their own business, those that are in high school, those that are in college, and university, as well as those that completed secondary, and post-secondary.
Canada is a prosperous and progressive country and this documentary, while it gives great cause for personal reflection, also heralds a sense of triumph, something that needs to be embraced, fostered and celebrated by every Canadian who sees Billy's story in this Documentary Film series.
- in development
- Running time
- 10 minutes
- Billy George Williams ... Producer, Director, Editor, Writer
- Prod. Co.
- BGW FILM STUDIOS
- Years of Production
- Campbell River
- still in development
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