As a Canadian reviewer of documentaries, I will admit I was getting worn down and forlorn over a seemingly endless stream of depressing documentaries on Canadian aboriginal life. Alcoholism, drug abuse, poor housing, officially mismanaged salmon fisheries including a proliferation of salmon farms destroying aboriginal fish stocks and of course residential schools. These stories must be told but is there no room for a celebration of Canadian aboriginal culture? Well then arrived the Canadian documentary “Aitamaako’tamisskapi Natsi: Before the Sun” which showed an optimistic and proud side of Canadian aboriginal culture. You can read my review here https://setthebarlifestyle.wordpress.com/2023/03/29/rks-2023-hot-docs-films-aitamaakotamisskapi-natosi-before-the-sun-i-cant-believe-i-am-saying-this/?fbclid=IwAR1f3HCPEy6DA3_f2j_v8VScfATEQP3QF-2iq11HuS2bm0HDvxTC6Bdd8XM
The APTN network’s first season of “Yukon Harvest” was a big hit so APTN is back with season 2 and from what I have seen the trauma of Canadian residential schools is discussed in Season 2 but there is pride shown in aboriginal culture with its sound ecological traditions and respect for the land as it is the land that nurtures and provides for all of us. A basic truth that escapes the “modern world”.
In Episode 201“Yegwúp (to Grow Strong) Part 1 viewers meet Ed Jensen of the British Columbia Secwepemc Nation a hunting guide that mentors young aboriginal hunters. Jensen has a deep respect for the land that provides for all if taken care of properly. Off he heads to the Canadian Yukon for a series of hunts. Is he a mad dentist in Kenya killing lions for a photo op? No he has reverence for the animals he shoots showing sadness yet gratitude to the animal just killed that will feed so many. He shows respect for the animal spirit in a ceremonial fashion. Jensen fervently believes he has an obligation to pass on traditions of thousands of years to the young hunters he mentors.
Yes there is a mention or two of the trauma caused by residential schools but there is hope and joy of Jensen and his young hunters which I can only hope you can feel and share with friends and family.
The cinematography is second to none.
This episode will show on June 10th on APTN but you should check with APTN on screenings of this episode.