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Tzouhalem (52 Minute Version)

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Catalogue Number:  LESS01
Producer:  Less Bland Productions
Producers:  Harold C. Joe
Producing Agencies:  Orca Cove Media, Less Bland Productions
Subject:  Canadian History, Canadian Social Studies, Documentary, First Nations Studies, History, Indigenous Issues, Indigenous Peoples, Social Sciences, Social Studies
Language:  English
Grade Level:  9 - 12, Post Secondary, Adult
Country Of Origin:  Canada
Copyright Year:  2021
Running Time:  51:55

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Tzouhalem, Chief of the Cowichan First Nation during the mid-1800’s, is arguably one of the most fascinating and polarizing figures in Canadian history. His story is a matter of historic record yet is the subject of legend. There is a mountain, road, and other landmarks on Cowichan territory named after him. 

It is generally believed that Tzouhalem, a deformed Indigenous boy, through his strength of character and mystical powers, taught to him by his Grandmother, subdued his rivals, and transformed himself into the most powerful First Nations leader in the Pacific Northwest, before succumbing to his own immorality. 

This documentary, through interviews and creative re-enactments, examines the near-mythic figure of Cowichan Chief Tzouhalem, the account of his life from both historians and First Nations Elders, the folkloric tales concerning him, his impact on the modern relationship between the Crown and First Nations, and how his legend remains alive to this day, examining critically how his story has been told and passed down to us.  Produced by Harold C. Joe, Cowichan Tribe.

Please click here for the 92 minute version of this program.

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