Hello and may I take this opportunity to welcome you to Gathering the Stories: Life in the Columbia River Gorge. I am honored to meet you all!
Gathering the Stories is a multi dimensional project that focuses on one central point: Place, and our relationships to land. I am covering many perspectives because I come from many perspectives (check my Bio), but the one central focus is Place.
The WATLALA (Cascade Indians) are my tribe of origin (I am an enrolled member of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe) on my Mother's side. Our old village site is now replaced by Bonneville Locks & Dam in the Columbia River Gorge. The intent of this project is to archive family relationships and stories of this place. However, I am also searching for lost spiritual traditions and ways of communicating with the land. I plan on archiving the lost tradition of Our Vision Quest and the use of Our Sacred Mountain: Wind Mountain. I hope to someday return this Sacred Mountain back to its' Peoples. First I want to share our stories!
I have always felt that this work (writer/videographer/ archivist/ storyteller) was my calling. However, I have always thought of it as something that I would do in the future after I went to school and got grant money to work on projects. One day it hit me that people are dying and passing on. With each passing goes myriads of stories and anecdotes now unheard to current and future generations. A sense of urgency to begin archiving is apparent and vital to preserve oral traditions.
Synopsis: Combining archival photos with new and found footage, Red Ochre is a personal, impressionistic rendering of what it's like growing up Mi'kmaq in Newfoundland, while living in a culture of denial.