Short Film: NEW-CHAH-NULTH: RECLAIMING TRADITION, 17min., Canada, Documentary

The Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations of Vancouver Island, BC are decolonizing indigenous education. They are integrating language, tradition, and land-based skills into their school curriculum to save their culture from the brink of extinction and offer a different future for the next generations. 

There are few elders left who speak Nuu-chah-nulth, the traditional language of the First Nations peoples along the west coast of Vancouver Island. Many are survivors of the last residential school in BC, which closed in 1983. As more knowledge keepers pass on every year, the Nuu-chah-nulth Nations are fighting to keep their culture alive. “What happens when we go? What happens when we pass away?” asks an elder.

For over a thousand years, the 14 tribes that make up the Nuu-chah-nulth nations have lived in balance with nature. Now, we see them turning to land-based skills as a tool for cultural reclamation. We meet a fisherwomen, a culture & language teacher, and a totem pole carver. All three committed to passing down their knowledge.

They believe that only when the next generation is reconnected with their true identity, will their potential be realized. That education can be a part of the solution, if more space is made for indigenous ways of knowing in the classroom. “It was lost within schools, allow them to relearn within the school system,” suggests another elder. 

The Nuu-chah-nulth are part of a shifting tide across Canada, who are fighting earnestly for their land, rights and sovereignty. Each community doing what they can to heal wounds from the past and reclaim what was stolen.

By femalefilmfestival

The irony of this festival is that its goal is to not be around in 5 years time. To eventually not be relevant because there is zero need to have a festival geared for female talent and female stories because the stories presented in Hollywood and around the world are a balanced showcase of the human experience from both sexes. Our goal is to achieve a lot of success and then fold into oblivion simply because there is no need for this festival. This festival was created by the FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival as a simple reaction to a strong need to showcase female talent from around the world in a more profound way. When putting together the weekly festival, the administration noticed a lack of a female presence in the stories being shown at the festival. A classic example and analogy to the frustration is how the festival noticed that even the smaller roles in a screenplay were written for a man to play. There was zero reason for this in many stories. How a police officer, or a political campaign manager, for example with 3-4 lines in a screenplay was a "HE" character. Why? And these are the screenplays written by the winners! The talented one who have obtained agents and have began/beginning their careers as a writer.

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