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YFS Past Screenings & Events

Nahanni: River of Forgiveness

This screening took place on
Monday, February 3, 2020 at 2:30pm
Yukon Arts Centre

The Nahanni River in Canada’s Northwest Territories runs through one of the wildest and most fascinating landscapes in the world. Celebrated as Canada’s Grand Canyon, the Na’ha Dehé (Nahanni) is within the traditional indigenous territory of the Dehcho Dene. In 2017 a group of several Dene families sought to reconnect with the spirit of their ancestors on an epic journey through their most sacred land.

High in the mountains near the headwaters of the Nahanni, the Dene built a boat 45 feet long of moose skins stretched over a spruce wood frame. It was constructed in the traditional way reviving ancient, almost forgotten, engineering skills passed down from generation to generation.  No boat of this size or construction has been seen on the Nahanni in a hundred years. The Dene set off on a wild river in a boat whose safety is in doubt and there's 500 kilometres to paddle to get home. Nahanni River of Forgiveness is a journey through a truly magnificent landscape. It's a tribute to the spiritual power of nature to heal the soul and to the resilience and steadfastness of the Dene to climb out of the ashes of colonialism. 

Recommended for ages 10 +

  • Directed by Geoff Bowie
  • 2019, Ontario/ NWT
  • 94 minutes

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