The Xeni Gwet’in Youth Wagon Trip timed their entrance to the lakecity and the Williams Lake Stampede rodeo perfectly Friday evening, arriving just in time for the second performance of the 92nd annual Williams Lake Stampede. Angie Mindus photo

WATCH: In the Valley of Wild Horses released worldwide this month

Trevor Mack returns home this summer to film his first feature-length film

After months of preparation, Tsilhqot’in filmmaker Trevor Mack’s groundbreaking film, In the Valley of the Wild Horses, has been released worldwide as of May 1.

The 24 minutes long film chronicles the traditional Xeni Gwet’in youth wagon trip from Nemiah Valley to the Williams Lake Stampede. Premiering at the Vancouver International Film Festival in the fall of last year, many people in the lakecity got a chance to view it early at a series of screenings shown in and around the Cariboo.

Now though, the film Mack made with co-director Asia Youngman is available for anyone to see and buy, which is a cathartic feeling according to Mack.

In the Valley of the Wild Horses, I think, is an inspirational, defiant spectacle of a film that showcases the Xeni Gwet’in youth wagon trip’s tenth year anniversary,” Mack said.

The trip, Mack said, is an example of a land-based healing project first initiated by Xeni Gwet’in Chief Jimmy Lulua that had created a new path towards health and wellness in his community. When he was offered the opportunity to come along and document the trip, Mack said he leapt at the chance.

Over the course of eight days, Mack and Youngman travelled with the wagon train on their journey, often rushing ahead to set up shots they only had one chance to get. For some of the incredible drone footage Youngman took, Mack said, the mosquitos were so bad he to constantly smack them off her as she operated the device.

Read More: New Xeni Gwet’in wagon trip documentary will premiere at Vancouver International Film Festival

“It just shows these badass Indigenous Youth being healthy, being out on the land, taking in old cultural traditions and leading the way, I think, in how to live a healthy life as Indigenous people in the Chilcotin,” Mack said. “That aura of potential that was in the air was an incredible feeling and I hope the documentary shows that.”

For Mack, the most impactful moment of the film comes at the end as the wagon train rides in the Williams Lake Stampede Grounds. The excitement on the faces of the youth, the roar of the crowd and the whole feeling makes him, to this day, stand up whenever he sees the sequence, filled with an indescribable emotion.

Despite it premiering at VIFF and already being shown around the world, for Mack, the screening of the film he has been most proud of are the ones he has done in school and communities across Tsilhqot’in Nation. The entire project, for him, was connecting with the youth and the more who can watch it and learn its message, the better.

“I think the climate crisis we’re seeing now, all over the world, is a product of that sustained disruption from the land that occurred with Indigenous peoples. I think the more non-Indigenous people that are able to take part in a land-based healing program (should) the most important thing is our connection to the land,” Mack said. “It’s not just an Indigenous issue, it’s a worldwide planet-wide issue.”

Read More: Trevor Mack eyes range of exciting future film projects

Currently, In the Valley of the Wild Horses is available, in full, on Youtube and on the Telus Optik TV on demand network. Physical copies will be available for sale, though Mack said the details are still being decided and will be announced on the documentary’s Facebook page within the next few months.

Mack is moving from Vancouver back to the Cariboo Chilcotin this summer to film his first feature-length film Portraits From a Fire an introspective drama about a First Nations boy who discovers himself through viewing his parent’s old wedding tape.



patrick.davies@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Tolko announces two-week shutdown at Soda Creek sawmill, beginning May 27

The company says employees were informed of the decision earlier Thursday

Fourth Avenue sidewalk request referred for 2020 public works consideration

City council heard a resident’s concerns about the lack of sidewalks on Fourth Avenue North near the hospital

Thunderstorms in forecast for much of Cariboo Chilcotin

Special weather statements, concerns of flash flooding, for southern B.C. regions

Council wants memorial bench program to continue

Public Works asked council to consider discontinuing the program due to lack of appropriate locations

600 new campsites coming to provincial parks and recreation sites across B.C.

Tourism Minister announced half of the new spots to 13 most popular provincial parks

Quesnel RCMP still looking for witness to wheelchair turnover in West Quesnel

The man whose wheelchair rolled over on him has died

Municipalities protest after B.C. declares marijuana crops ‘farm use’

UBCM president seeks answers in letter to John Horgan government

CMHC defends mortgage stress test changes amid calls for loosening rules

Uninsured borrowers must now show they could service their mortgage if rates rose two per cent

Nisga’a Nation tourism industry hits the road

First pilot tour to the Nass Valley is set for this summer with Indigenous Tourism BC

B.C. woman left ‘black and blue’ after being pushed off 40-foot cliff at lake

West Shore RCMP looking for witnesses as investigation continues

GoFundMe started for family of Quesnel assault victim

Curtis Spencer was found severely injured on Callanan Street in North Quesnel in April

Thunderstorms to bring heavy rain, risk of flash floods in the southern Interior

Ten to 30 millimetres of rain to fall over the early weekend

Unbe-leaf-able: Agassiz man finds more than 200 four-leaf clovers in a month

Walt Hardinge has found more than 219 four-or-more leaf clovers this spring alone

Most Read