VIWIFF: How a People Live

(Canada, 120 mins)


The Gwa’sala-’Nakwaxda’xw Nations invited award-winning filmmaker Lisa Jackson and producers Catrina Longmuir and Sharon Bliss to trace the history of their nations’ forced relocation from traditional territories on the coast of British Columbia in 1964. Candid and moving interviews, striking archival films and photos dating back over 100 years, as well as a visit to their stunning ‘Homelands’ bring to life the story of a people known for their theatrical dances, their strong connection to the land, and the strength that has enabled them to overcome incredible hardships.

Following the rise of the Idle No More movement, this masterfully lensed and edited documentary emphasizes the importance of remembrance and reconciliation when meditating on Canadian history at large.

“In the film How a People Live we depict the land, we talk about what happened over a period of 150 years, and we demonstrate a strength of will and soul that is moving us toward a healthy and vibrant society once again.” (Colleen Hemphill, Chief Treaty Negotiator Gwa’sala-’Nakwaxda’xw Nations)

Preceded by: Michelle Thrush (Shannon Kaplun, Canada, 20 min)

Adam Beach narrates the story of Michelle Thrush, a Gemini Award-winning Canadian actor who has starred alongside Johnny Depp, Benicio Del Toro, and many others in numerous feature films. She is one of the stars of APTN’s Blackstone and CBC’s Arctic Air series, and is known for her role in Jim Jarmush’s Dead Man. A Cree from Calgary, Thrush has suffered poverty, was surrounded by addiction, and fought through stereotypes to become a strong, talented, and award-winning role model.

Followed by: Panel discussion