How a People Live

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The Gwa’sala and the ‘Nakwaxda’xw First Nations people lived as two distinct groups along BC’s northwest coast. In 1964, for ease of administration, the Canadian Government forcibly relocated them from their traditional territories along Queen Charlotte Strait–Smith Inlet, Seymour Inlet and Blunden Harbour–to the Tsulquate reserve near Port Hardy on Vancouver Island. Crowded into only a few houses with no potable water, they couldn’t even retrieve their possessions. When they returned to their villages to do so, they found their homes had been burned to the ground.

Candid and moving interviews, striking archival footage–including their early contact with Franz Boas and Edward Curtis–and a visit to their stunning homelands portray a journey of healing.  How A People Live  brings to life the story of a people known for their theatrical dances, strong connection to the land, and the strength that enabled them to overcome incredible hardships–disease, Indian Residential schools and the destruction of their villages. This is a powerful story about a people’s reconnection with their land and culture and a journey of healing and rejuvenation of their communi