Image Union, episode 0805

Film made with the Kwakwaka’wakw Indians (also called the Kwakiutl) of British Columbia about their struggles to preserve their cultural heritage. As an introduction to the piece, Chuck Olin explains that the documentary was not made simply about the tribe from the point of view of an outsider, it was made with them and for their own use. The potlach was a fundamental part of the Kwakiutl’s culture and economy. However, the Canadian government declared it illegal, and in the 1920s they interrupted a potlach held by this tribe and stole all of the tribe’s important artifacts. The tape celebrates the return of these artifacts t o the tribe and the building of a cultural center to house them. The film also deals with the tribe’s attempts to preserve their language and culture. Continue reading