Alberni Valley residents are invited to explore the modern story of Huu-ay-aht First Nations in a new, award-winning documentary.
waałšiʔaƛin (Coming Home) is the third documentary in a series about Huu-ay-aht First Nations, following Heart of the People in 1997 and Return of the River in 2003. The film was produced by Munro/Thompson and is told from the perspectives of several generations, showing how the nation has overcome the devastating effects of colonization, healed and rebuilt its homelands, restored its connection to traditional culture and brought its people home.
“We started telling our story in past films Run of the River and Heart of the People, but we are a treaty nation now, so our story has changed and the next chapter needs to be shared,” explained Robert Dennis Sr., chief councillor for Huu-ay-aht First Nations, in a press release. “This documentary shares our vision for the future, while telling our story of resiliency.”
The broadcast premiere, set for Wednesday, Jan. 29, will be presented by CHEK Television.
“We are proud to broadcast the world premiere of waałšiʔaƛin (Coming Home) right here on Vancouver Island,” said Rob Germain, general manager and CEO of CHEK Television. “waałšiʔaƛin is an important story of restoration, healing and rebuilding by the Huu-ay-aht that deserves to be shared with all who live here.”
waałšiʔaƛin (Coming Home) has received five awards, including an Award of Excellence from the Accolade Global Film Competition, Award of Excellence from Impact DOCS Awards, Director’s Choice at the Social Justice Film Festival, Platinum Award for short documentaries at the Oregon International Film Awards and Best Documentary at the Chilliwack Independent Film Festival.
It has also been nominated in four additional categories from various film festivals, including Best Documentary Short, Best Documentary, Best Director, Best of BC and the Chilliwack Spirit Award.
The broadcast premiere is open to the public and will be screened live at the Alberni District Secondary School Theatre (4000 Roger St.) on Wednesday, Jan. 29. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the broadcast begins at 8 p.m. It will be followed by a question and answer period. Admission is free.