Ottawa – A new online video project underlines the remarkable resurgence of the ocean-going canoe and reminds us of the importance of understanding the ocean through the lens of this ancient technology.
The series of 13 short videos, Glwa – The Resurgence of the Ocean Going Canoe, was developed by the Heiltsuk Tribal Council, in partnership with Ingenium – Canada’s Museums of Science and Innovation and Fisheries and Oceans Canada.
The videos showcase the widespread impact of the canoe and the revival of its practice with maritime Indigenous culture today, examining its early history and its resurgence over the last three decades through annual tribal canoe journeys.
The video series is the second in a series of Sacred Journey projects, following the release of Glwa – The Documentary last year, which was produced in partnership with the University of Winnipeg. Both projects will contribute to the Sacred Journey travelling exhibition, currently in development in partnership with Ingenium, sharing stories about the resurgence of the ocean-going canoe.
An essential tool for sustenance, transport, and the development of social and ceremonial life amongst the Heiltsuk Nation and other Indigenous Peoples, the ocean-going canoe has remained a symbol of resilience and revitalization for Indigenous communities.
Despite massive societal changes that have impacted Indigenous groups, the canoe has remained an important teacher and cornerstone for revitalization of cultural practices and language – along with the ancestral teachings and laws that empower and support them.
As a steward of ocean knowledge, the Heiltsuk Nation is proud to share how their long-standing experience with the canoe that has been essential for the development of a thriving culture that lived in mutual co-existence with the natural environment.
By showcasing the history and culture of the Heiltsuk maritime First Nation who have lived within the west-coast territory for at least 14,000 years, the Sacred Journeys video series underlines the importance of this ancient technology, which has the potential to enhance our universal understanding of the ocean.