Buffalo Spirit ~ The Evolution


Chief Adam Dick, Kwaxsistala Kwakwaka'wakw
Mary Thomas, Secwepmec Elder, Neskonlith Band, Shuswap Nation
Ruth Brass, Blackfoot Elder, Siksika First Nation.

Introduction (:16)

Script (5:02)

Narrator: What's different about, I think, Aboriginal culture up and down this coast and throughout North America is those connections to the Spirit World, to talk about why we did the food gathering in those specific manners. And it's that living memory that we're desperate to maintain and to record and remember.

Chief Adam Dick - Kwaxsistala Kwakwaka'wakw: They're lost! They don't know who they are now. They don't know what tribe they belong to and what...the problem is what we call long hands, long arms. They'll just reach into other people's box and they go and play with it.
Narrator: It's not just enough to record this. It's not just enough for young directors and filmmakers to make these films like they're family albums. There's a real need for all of the protocol rules to be used in those times and so it's difficult for us to find people who actually will observe those rules.

Mary Thomas, Secwepmec Elder, Neskonlith Band, Shuswap Nation: Our culture is transmitted in two ways: material and non-material. In material you have like the carvings, the basket making, canoes, drums...anything that's made with the hands. Non-material, number one, is our language, our spirituality, our songs, our dances, our laws, traditional laws. And our people are struggling. So few elders are willing to share or even have the knowledge, so few are left. And sometimes, we as elders are afraid. I know I'm always full of fear. That's why I'm not pushing myself on anybody. I only share when I know they are ready for it.
(looking at photos of historical drawings... "In English I don't know. But in Blackfoot this is (Blackfoot Language). Those were his tipis and then here are the societies of the haunts.....")

Ruth Brass, Blackfoot Elder, Siksika First Nation: The most sacred thing for me, I think, is when you're making your offering. You know have to be truthful. (Showing on the photo the Beaver Bundle and the Medicine Pipe Bundle.) I think a lot about the kids and I think if we help them out, you know, I think their lives will continue like we had. That there is a culture there, it's not lost like everybody is saying it is. Because I think if we try hard enough we'll get it all back.

Narrator: Unless you go back to the source, of not only the person who actually had the experience but the person who had the right to have the experience. Because so many of these practices had either gender roles or they had hierarchical roles, you had to be of a certain clan to do a certain thing, or a certain gender or a certain position. There are many different factors that will make the information accurate.

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