St'at'imckalh - Spirit of the People
Catalogue Number: RVP002
Producer: River Voices
Directors: Williams, Jeremy
Producing Agencies: River Voices
Subject: Canadian History, Canadian Social Studies, Canadian World Studies, Documentary, Environmental Studies, First Nations Studies, Geography, History, Indigenous Issues, Indigenous Peoples, Media Literacy, Social Studies
Grade Level: 6 - 8, 9 - 12, Post Secondary
Country Of Origin: Canada
Copyright Year: 2012
Running Time: 60:55
Closed Captions: Yes
‘St’at’imckalh ~ Spirit of the People’ is a cultural self portrait of a nation and their territory. It is an historical document that tells the ‘St’at’imckalh ~ Spirit of the People’ is a cultural self portrait of a nation and their territory. It is an historical document that tells the story of how the St’at’imc people have endured unthinkable hardships and lived to tell the tale. This feature film includes archival images from the mid-1800’s, before Canada was formed and Aboriginal people were the vast majority in these wild lands.
The Lillooet Gold Rush of 1858 saw a stampede of miners flood St’at’imc Territory, spelling death to the St’at’imc with smallpox and other diseases. The worst was yet to come. Aboriginal children were forced into residential schools where they were robbed of their culture, their language and their way of life. The legacy of grief is still healing to this day. “Shedya” Hereditary Chief Marty Thevarge, tells of his time in residential school and how the memory of an experience in the mountains with his father sustained him in his darkest hours.
A great flood buried St’at’imc villages when 3 damns were built on the river valleys that fed the nation. “Tsacwcen” , Elder Carl Alexander tells of his childhood in “The Land of Plenty” (now known as the Bridge River valley), before it was flooded by BC Hydro in 1960. Every year the Nation gathers to celebrate the signing of the Declaration of the Lillooet Tribe, May 10th 1911. This Sovereign Nation will never surrender.
The flow of the film is smooth and gentle with a haunting soundtrack of native flute and chanting. The messages are conveyed to the heart and soul of the viewer and shown with much symbolism and poetic visual expression.
WINNER – BEST DOCUMENTARY: Cowichan Film Festival
Nominated BEST DIRECTOR – Winnipeg Aboriginal Film Festival