GLWA: Resurgence of the Ocean-Going Canoe

Vina Brown and Hillary Beattie

2017, 46:48 minutes, colour, English

TAPECODE 2067.00

BELLA BELLA, B.C. - Glwa: Resurgence of the Ocean-Going Canoe follows Frank Brown and a group of Heiltsuk youth from Bella Bella, British Columbia as they paddle down the coast of Washington State to Nisqually Tribe for Tribal Canoe Journeys 2016. Tribal Journeys is an annual Indigenous cultural gathering on the Northwest Pacific Coast, which takes place in different host communities every summer. After paddling to the destination, participants spend several days sharing cultural songs, dances, stories, language and teachings with other Indigenous communities. Over the last three decades, Tribal Journeys has grown and now involves hundreds of canoes and thousands of participants paddling to different communities from Alaska to Oregon.

In the film, directors Vina Brown and Hillary Beattie follow a group of Heiltsuk youth as they participate on the 2016 paddle to Nisqually. Over a period of 12 days, the journey helps youth learn and revitalize their culture, which was nearly lost as a result of colonialism and the Residential School system. The journey also instills a sense of pride in youth, and helps them heal from intergenerational traumas caused by government policies and practices. Finally, the youth reconnect with the natural environment and other coastal Indigenous communities on the journey.

All proceeds from the film will go to the Heiltsuk Tribal Council.

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