By Kelly Pearce
The Skagit Environmental Endowment Commission and the Hope Mountain Centre are co-hosting the Hope premiere of the film “Gathering at Hozomeen” next Thursday, January 27, 7:00 p.m. at the Blue Moose Coffee House.
The film chronicles a special event that took place in the Skagit Valley in 2009. The Hozomeen gathering invited archaeologists, Canadian First Nations, American Tribal groups, and interested citizens from both countries to camp at Ross Lake and share their historical knowledge concerning the upper Skagit Watershed.
The film explores the international character of the watershed, which has always been a natural north-south corridor and gathering place used by First Nations. Even after the creation of the 49th Parallel in 1846, Canadians and Americans largely ignored the border for decades, using the Skagit as a natural travel route between both countries.
The Gathering at Hozomeen highlighted the Skagit’s traditional use by First Nations, and in that regard, the 2009 event was unique. For the first time, it brought together indigenous people from both Canada and the United States to share their knowledge of the Skagit. In addition, leading archaeologists from both countries were there to listen and share their knowledge of the detailed archaeological record that exists in the valley.
The 150 people who attended the 2009 gathering were moved by the spirit of openness and respect expressed there. The film helps to capture the mood of that sunny September weekend, bringing it to a wider audience.
The documentary film was made possible with funding from the Skagit Environmental Endowment Commission and Seattle City Light.
Kelly Pearce is the Program Director with the Hope Mountain Centre