Indigenous Knowledge

The film excerpts under this theme consider the role of women, ways of thinking about hunting and fishing, forestry management, the technique of building an igloo, the importance of spirituality, and the preservation and transmission of ancestral values.


Bella Bella

Bella Bella 1

Circle of the Sun

Circle of the Sun 1

Eskimo Arts and Crafts

Eskimo Arts and Crafts 1

Our Nationhood

Our Nationhood 6

Tales of Sand and Snow

Tales of Sand and Snow 1

Bella Bella

1975, Director: Greene, Barbara

excerpt 1      2 min 43 s


Description In 1975, on Campbell Island 500 km north of Vancouver, Angus, a Bella Bella elder, helps a Dutch linguist with the first Heiltsuk dictionary by reviewing translation and pronunciation of the language. Elders play an important role in the preservation and transference of a community’s culture.
Questions 1. The Bella Bella people of the Pacific coast are in the midst of a cultural revival. What are the strategies being used to ensure the preservation of Bella Bella culture?

2. The Elders of the Bella Bella community speak of the importance of passing on their language to the next generation. How is modern media being employed to help ensure the survival of the Heiltsuk language and the Bella Bella culture in general?

About This Film


North of Vancouver, 500 km up-coast, live the Bella Bella Indians of Campbell Island. Since the coming of the white man these fishing people have watched their ancient Heiltsuk culture and their independence all but disappear. Today, in an energetic attempt to become self-sufficient, they are regaining both--successfully combining a plan for economic development with a program of cultural revival.

Director: Barbara Greene
Producer: John N. Smith
Producer: Ian McLaren
Photography: André Gagnon
Photography: Yves Drapeau
Sound: Claude Lefebvre
Editing: Barrie Howells
Editing: Tina Viljoen
Sound: John Knight
Sound: Jean-Pierre Joutel
Music: Larry Crosley

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