Gwa'sala - 'Nakwaxda'xw
The Gwa'sala and the 'Nakwaxda'xw Nations come from the west coast of British Columbia. They are now situated on the Tsulquate reserve near Port Hardy, British Columbia. They have a rich and storied past chock full of art, dance and brilliant age old customs. Their recent past has been troubled by the same oppression other Canadian Nations have. I married into this community and through a fateful series of events, I have fallen into a role which has me helping them tell their stories.
Thomas Henderson Sr: blunden harbour Commentary
Prior to being forcibly relocated from their homelands, the 'Nakwaxda'xw Nation was fortunate enough to have some footage shot of their life in the homelands. This film features brilliant commentary I recorded from Chief Thomas Henderson Sr. This tour into the recent past is quite a pleasure.
Elders are our keys to the future. They hold an integral place in healthy communities. They link the young ones to their past while their parents are sustaining their families. Here I feature many of the endeavours I have made to preserve the rare knowledge elders hold for the sake of future generations when they are ready to take them in.
Recently the Gwa'sala - 'Nakwaxda'xw Nations created the 'Kawatsi Economic Development Corporation. They have taken on a number of exciting initiatives from ecotourism and marine transport to hospitality and forestry. I started off my film career making promotional videos for their many branches.
HERRING ROE HARVEST
Spring 2016 I headed out to Gwa'sala territory with my wife and a group of Gwa'sala-'Nakwaxda'xw fisheries crew members. We cut boughs, made long lines and set them. Four days later we headed back out to harvest our bounty. We all learned a great deal and enjoyed revitalizing this age old practice. This film is currently enjoy a successful film festival circuit and being featured at the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian.
PADDY WALKUS: TAKUSH COMMENTARY
I have had the great honour of interviewing many great and knowledgeable elders. I have interviewed Chief Paddy Walkus a number of times. Interviewing him to the backdrop of rare old footage of his childhood home back in Takush prior to the Gwa'sala relocation, was an especially great treat.
what's in the water
This is another project I did in collaboration with Chief Thomas Henderson Sr. The film also features Ricky Johnny and Cathy Swain as voice actors. The film looks to familiarize audiences with some of the different sea life to be found in traditional Gwa'sala-'Nakwaxda'xw territories. It was made with the help of the wonderful folks from Our World. Our World helps First Nations youth across the province tell their important stories.
Changes - Tristan Swain Walkus
Back in 2013 I was embarking on my first paid film gig. I asked Tristan, a young talented Gwa'sala-'Nakwaxda'xw rapper to pen a background song for me. He agreed to the challenge. A few weeks later we met so he could show me what he'd come up with. What he showed me overwhelmed me and had me tearing up. I didn't feel right putting what he'd come up with behind anything. It deserved to be featured in its own film. What you see above is the result. It was my first independently produced film. Enjoy.