How A People Live

Kwakwaka'wakw Village of Ba'a's (Blunden Harbour), 1901 Photograph by C. F. Newcombe, Royal BC Museum
Kwakwaka'wakw Village of Ba'a's (Blunden Harbour), 1901 Photograph by C. F. Newcombe, Royal BC Museum

The Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw First Nations have commissioned a new one-hour documentary “How A People Live” directed by Lisa Jackson, and produced by Bliss Pictures Inc. The film traces the history of the Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw First Nations, who the Canadian government forcibly relocated from their traditional territories on the coast of British Columbia in 1964.

This is a story about how a people live – how they overcome incredible hardships to reconnect with their land and culture and begin the healing and rejuvenation of their community.

Candid and moving interviews, striking archival films and photos dating back over 100 years, and 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, including disease, residential school and having their villages burned down. In 1970, a former Indian Agent wrote a controversial book he said was based on the lives of these people and titled it, “How a People Die.” Forty years later, this film shows us their traditional life and culture as well as the traumas that threatened to destroy them, to see how a people live.

> Watch the full documentary on CBC.

> Learn more about the film from Lisa Jackson, the filmmaker’s website.