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In the Land of Dreamers

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Catalogue Number:  GUNN00
Producer:  Ronan Gunn
Producers:  Dickie, Ryan
Directors:  MacDougall, Miranda
Producing Agencies:  Risky Creek Productions
Subject:  Arts, Canadian Geography, Canadian History, Canadian Social Issues, Canadian Social Studies, Documentary, Environmental Studies, First Nations Studies, History, Indigenous Issues, Indigenous Peoples, Nature, Science, Social Issues, Social Sciences, Social Studies
Language:  English
Grade Level:  9 - 12, Post Secondary, Adult
Country Of Origin:  Canada
Copyright Year:  2021
Running Time:  44:02


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A documentary about an ex-logger, an indigenous storyteller, and a 30-year journey to protect an ancient working wilderness.

In the Land of Dreamers tells the story of a 16 million-acre wilderness area in northeast British Columbia called the Muskwa-Kechika (M-K). Stewarded by indigenous peoples for thousands of years, the region is the last intact wilderness area of its kind with more biodiversity, and in greater abundance, than anywhere in North America - and very few know it exists.

The story follows Ryan Dickie, a Dene-Kwagul photographer and filmmaker from Fort Nelson, and Wayne Sawchuck, a logger turned environmentalist and guide, as they journey by horseback into the M-K to explore the symbolism of Dechinn: an ancestral Dene marker erected by Dreamers from centuries past that safeguarded sacred areas to fall back on in the case their peoples ever came across hard times.

Ryan starts to see the symbolism of the Dechinn as the key to ensuring long-term protection for species, spaces and deepening his own relationship with his culture. Though they each grew up in industry (Ryan in Oil & Gas, Wayne in logging), they reflect on change: both the internal fight for it and the external changes of the future. With only a fraction of the area currently protected, there is a movement afoot to reassert the M-K’s protection through a new indigenous-led proposal called Dene k’éh Kusan (Always Will Be There). This is a story about environmental and cultural survival, finding a middle ground, and other growing pains of intergenerational collaboration in the 21st century.

Features:

  • Ryan Dickie, Indigenous photographer with strong lineages from the Dene and Kwakwaka’wakw peoples
  • Wayne Sawchuk, Guide, Trapper, Conservationist and Dene storyteller
  • Gillian Staveley, Land Steward – Dena Kayeh Advocate
  • Michelle Creegan Dougherty, Guide and Wrangler
  • Dave Porter, CEO for the BC First Nations Energy and Mining Council and President of the Dena Kayeh Institute (DKI)
  • Alex Lepp, Guide and Wrangler

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