Moving Images Distribution is located on the traditional, ancestral, unceded and occupied territory of the Coast Salish peoples - xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ílwətaʔɬ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations - commonly known as Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Our roots lie within the independent film and video community. During the 1970s, a group of talented filmmakers began developing ways to increase the profile of their work. Their vision resulted in the formation of Canadian Filmmakers Distribution West which changed its name to Moving Images Distribution in 1994. Since our beginnings in 1979, we've worked to connect audiences with innovative works by some of Canada's internationally acclaimed media artists working in experimental, documentary, animation, short fiction and personal narrative.
SAMAQAN: Drinking from my Mother's Well (Woolasto…
“Drinking from my Mother's Well (Woolastook)” SAMAQAN Season 3 Episode 39
In English and Maliseet with English subtitles, Maliseet storyteller Jeff Bear returns to his traditional territory at Negootkoog, which is situated at the confluence of the Woolastook and Tobique Rivers. The Woolastook is the mighty St. John River (from the Maliseet word ‘wolastoq’ meaning ‘beautiful river’). The St. John River valley has a long history as the highway of discovery. It was along the river that the first colonial settlers built their homes, displacing most Maliseet from their traditional fishing grounds. NB Power has dammed most of the river and 50 years ago, the largest of these, the Mactaquac dam and generating station, was built without any consultation with First Nations people. It had no ladders for Atlantic salmon returning to spawn. Years after operating, the shoreline has eroded and there are no fish in a once plentiful river. Maliseet living near this generating station have increased levels of cancer and wonder about its effects on their health. Mactaquac is expected to reach the end of its service life in 2030 and a decision soon needs to be made on whether to repower it, build a new spillway or return the river to its natural flow. Maliseet Elders Shirley Bear and Henrietta Black recall the abundance of life in and along the river before the dams and industry altered the river and its shoreline so drastically. Their people are concerned about pollution from lumber mills upstream and the effects of polluted waters on plants used for traditional medicines. As a child, Jeff Bear's mother told him, “Take care of the water, my son,” an appeal that now resonates stronger than ever.
This documentary from “SAMAQAN: Water Stories” Series 3, looks deeper at water's role in culture, spirituality and life itself for North America's First Nations people.
Directed by: Marianne Jones, Jeff Bear
Produced by: Marianne Jones, Kristy Assu, Jeff Bear