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Keepers of the Land

Keepers of the Land, coming to screens in 2023, introduces the Kitasoo Xai’xais leaders and stewardship staff working to protect their territories. (Photo: Brodie Guy)

On the central coast, Kitasoo Xai’xais Nation leaders and youth are reclaiming power, knowledge, and responsibilities their peoples have held for millennia.

Through their stewardship authority, Guardian department, youth program, and in everyday life, generations of Kitasoo Xai’xais peoples are drawing upon traditional knowledge and laws to manage their territory and assert their sovereignty.

Keepers of the Land Trailer from Moonfish Media on Vimeo.

World-Class Storytelling

Keepers of the Land, a short documentary produced by the Kitasoo Xai’xais Stewardship Authority and Moonfish Media, highlights the ways hereditary and elected leaders, Guardians, and youth are coming together to pass on important knowledge, safeguard their cultural identity, and protect their territory from exploitation.

The film was recently shortlisted for a 2023 Jackson Wild Media Award, a prestigious award for nature and conservation films. Winners will be announced at an awards gala in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, on Sept. 28.

“As the film illustrates, storytelling is how we’ve communicated our Indigenous laws for thousands of years, which have everything to do with stewardship,” said Douglas Neasloss, co-director of Keepers of the Land and elected Chief Councillor of Kitasoo Xai’xais Nation in a news release. “We’re really grateful to the judges and Jackson Wild for the opportunity to share our story [along] with so many other world-class films.”

Upcoming Screenings:

  • Jackson Wild Summit (Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. Sept. 25-28.)
  • Wildlife Conservation Film Festival (New York City. Oct. 19-29.)

Check for additional screenings, as they’re confirmed.

Blazing a Trail

Earlier this year, 11 Guardians from Kitasoo Xai’xais and Nuxalk Nations were designated with the same legal authority as park rangers within the parks and protected areas in their traditional territories. The new designation supports Guardians to carry out compliance and enforcement activities.

In 2022, Kitasoo Xai’xais Nation declared a marine protected area in Gitdisdzu Lugyeks Kitasu Bay, worked with Gitga’at First Nation and the Province of British Columbia to ban black bear hunting in places where Kermode (Spirit) bears live, and contributed to international discussions around Indigenous stewardship, including at the COP15 UN biodiversity conference.

Through Coast Funds, Kitasoo Xai’xais Nation is investing in its stewardship and Guardian programs and working to realize the full potential of its stewardship vision.