In this short film, I explored the Capilano River in North Vancouver, BC, Canada and the importance of our water sources. The Capilano River is on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səl’il’wətaʔ (Tsleil-Waututh).

I reflected on my connection to this water source as I have lived nearby and have regularly visited this river for many years. I have introduced the river with both the traditional Indigenous and English names to respectively honour and include all the peoples who previously and currently share and care for the Capilano River and its surrounding areas. The Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh peoples share the same name, followed by the Squamish names

We, the visitors, the guests on this land…must nurture and take care of the water to support the plants and animals we have disrupted. The time is now, we all need to take meaningful actions everyday to use less water…to properly dispose of or recycle items…or sign petitions to support the health of the Earth and all living things.

We can protect and heal our waters and our Earth if we connect with one another…with nature and with the sources of our water.

This film is also exhibited on the Future Water Institutes, University of Cape Town’s YouTube channel. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLK1TK6eY3GAgFt5xRz9P-e-Wey9J64zEW

In this short film, I explored the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, Squamish Estuary, which is vital to local water, animals, land and people. Squamish First Nation member Ta’haxwtn, Randall W. Lewis, talked about his personal relationship and experiences with the land, and about industrial impacts and rehabilitation projects.

I was influenced by filmmaker Greg Coyes’s “slow media” approach to capturing stunning images of nature and spaces. I incorporated this approach to create thoughtfully composed static video images to show the beauty of the area, and combined this with Lewis’s storytelling to give insight and instill an urgency to protect and rehabilitate the estuary and all water and land. I included the Squamish and English text to respectively honour and include all the people who share and care for the Squamish Estuary and its surrounding areas.

The message from First Nations peoples in British Columbia I contacted was consistent: We all need to protect water and land, as we are all related. I have learned a lot about the First Nations perspectives through their truthful and heartfelt words about the many troubling environmental issues in our province.

There are many possibilities for us to come together, to work together and to heal our waterways and Earth.

This film was created in association with the David Suzuki Foundation, please visit their YouTube channel to see more films about local BC waterways. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLK1TK6eY3GAgFt5xRz9P-e-Wey9J64zEW