This award-winning documentary explores the forced relocation of of Sayisi Dene First Nation through the voices of those affected.
A Sayisi Dene Production (1992).
Direction, Cinematography, Writing and Editing: Mary and Allan Code.
We shot and edited this story in and around Tadoule Lake (1971-1992) and tracked down witnesses to this event across Canada.
We produced it independent of any broadcaster or government spin and enabled the testimony of those who had first-hand experience and knowledge of the event, much of it in the Dene language.
Since Nuhoniyeh was released on Vision, PBS, CBC and CBC North, we have continued to be involved with recording and reflecting the communities, culture, languages and environment of the Seal River Region and Western Hudson Bay.
From 1989 to 1992 we intensively searched for explanation and memory of the 1956 relocation by recording and combining the personal truths and perspectives of many individuals.
Nuhoniyeh won a bunch of awards including a Geminii - The Canada Award, but that wasn’t the point. We hope that through this film and the recorded words of the Elders (from all backgrounds) we may help to create a basis for an on-going and informed conversation between Canada and the Sayisi Dene People.
In the up-coming documentary "Seal River - Indigenous and Protected" we will refer to and possibly include parts of archived original 1971-1997 recordings as we revisit the land itself.
There are many powerful voices in these archives that are still waiting to be heard. Many speak with a very deep understanding of the land and history, language and culture. In our archives are also the words of Elders from Cree (South Indian Lake) and Inuit (Arviat) communities. These many voices will undoubtably help guide the upcoming documentary with the support of communities in the Seal River Region.
Our vision is to ensure our grandchildren’s grandchildren have the opportunity to engage in traditional practices such as hunting, fishing and serving as stewards of the land and animals within a healthy watershed.