An award-winning B.C. documentary is making its international broadcast premier on the Public Broadcasting Service this weekend.
Canyon War: The Untold Story, will air on Seattle’s PBS station, KCTS-9, May 25 at 7 p.m. and will also be broadcast by KYVE-Yakima. The documentary chronicles the First Nations-miner conflict in the Fraser Canyon during the 1858 gold rush.
A ground-breaking film shot on location in the Fraser Canyon in 2008, Canyon War: The Untold Story was made possible by a partnership between the Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation, the New Pathways to Gold Society (NPTGS), Heritage Canada, CN and BC150.
“The acquisition of Canyon War by one of the most respected public broadcasting stations in North America is a significant achievement in which the New Pathways to Gold Society takes great pride,” said Cheryl Chapman, NPTGS First Nations co-chair.
Canyon War: The Untold Story is one of the most successful projects produced by NPTGS, a community-based organization dedicated to continued reconciliation with First Nations, investment in B.C. heritage and economic development.
The documentary is brought to life by co-hosts Kevin Loring (Governor General award-winning playwright and actor from the Lytton First Nation) and Dr. Dan Marshall of the University of Victoria.
Loring’s ancestors resisted the 30,000 to 40,000 gold seekers who flooded into the Fraser River in 1858, while Marshall’s descendants were among the gold-seekers.
“This documentary is a showcase for First Nations reconciliation, which is one of our core principles,” said Terry Raymond, NPTGS co-chair.
Directed by Hope filmmaker Eva Wunderman, Canyon War: The Untold Story earned a platinum award at WorldFest, the Houston International Film Festival, in 2010. It took the top prize in the festival’s Television and Cable Productions Cultural category. Canyon War also took honours at the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival (NYIIFVF) in 2010.
The documentary made its regional television debut on the Knowledge Network in January 2010 and was broadcast nation-wide on APTN in September of that year.
KCTS and KYVE have a combined international audience of nearly 2.5 million viewers in Washington state and B.C.