My Only Daughter


Grace Smith


Grace Smith
  • Release Date 2016
  • Running Time 22 minutes
  • Closed Captions Yes
  • Availability Canada, USA

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My Only DaughterMy Only Daughter

Carol Wolfe, a deaf Indigenous woman in Saskatoon, bravely shares the story of her daughter's disappearance in 2010. She creates an intimate portrait of a loving relationship between mother and daughter and the five years of anguish, searching and wondering.

Karina Beth-Ann Wolfe struggled with substance abuse, she had just moved in with her mother and brother, and everything seemed fine. On the day she went with a friend to get the last of her things, she disappeared. For five years her family suffered, not knowing what had happened until her body was discovered on the outskirts of the city. Her mother's love and anguish from the loss of her only daughter speaks volumes in this touching film told in American Sign Language with voice-over narration. Indigenous people comprise 16% of Saskatchewan's population; yet 52% of all missing women in that province are Indigenous. Dr. Winona Wheeler of the University of Saskatchewan reminds us that when the Government of Canada created The Indian Act, it was a piece of legislation that reduced women and children to property and dehumanized them. The Indian Act, rooted as it is in European settler patriarchy and male dominance, has marginalized women and children. Such social, cultural and economic marginalization has turned them into human targets.

Director's Statement:

In 2014, I was experiencing a personal loss. It prompted me to learn a language and learn a new skill at work. I chose American Sign Language and it was through learning ASL that I first met Carol. I learned after that Carol's daughter was missing through my job at a local tv station. One day at work, I was training someone in the skill I had learned. I was watching our newscast, and saw a story about artist Jaime Black's REDress project on display at the University of Saskatchewan. It moved me and helped me understand the gravity of the situation. I wanted to do something and since I knew Carol personally, I approached her to ask if she wanted to collaborate with me to make a documentary about her daughter Karina. She agreed, and I am honoured to have done this project with her.

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