Xeni Gwet’in rider Howard Lulua (front) is introduced along with other competitors in the 2019 Saturday Mountain Race at the Williams Lake Stampede. Lulua is one of the Xeni Gwet’in cowboys featured in a new docu series on History Channel, premiering on Monday, Jan. 20. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Xeni Gwet’in wild horses and riders featured in History channel documentary series

The Wild Ones will premiere on Monday, Jan. 20

A new documentary series featuring Xeni Gwet’in cowboys and efforts to protect the area’s wild Qayus horses is set to air this month on the History channel.

Film crews were in the Nemiah Valley for several months in 2019 and could be seen at the 2019 Williams Lake Stampede filming the mountain race for scenes in “The Wild Ones,” which will air on the History channel, Monday, Jan. 20 at 9 p.m.

Featured in the series are Xeni Gwet’in Chief Jimmy Lulua, Howard Lulua, Amanda Lulua, Roy Mulvahill, Emery Phillips, Mike “Hawk” Hawkridge and Michael Lares.

Chief Jimmy Lulua said the most exciting thing about the series is the exposure his community, the Tsilhqot’in Nation, and even Williams Lake will get.

“I think it is a great opportunity to show a bit of who we are,” he told the Tribune. “We have to understand this is TV, too, and they have to sell it and there’s a bit of drama. But I think about what the Timber Kings TV show did for the area and how the Williams Lake Stampede and our own Xeni Gwet’in and Tsilhqot’in Nation will look in 2020 because of the exposure from this.”

Lulua said The Wild Ones will showcase the area’s beauty and the world-class piece of land the Tsilhqot’in Nation won in the 2014 Supreme Court rights and title decision.

“It’s another world here. I wake up in the morning every day and see it for myself and now through the series we are able to share this with the rest of the world. It’s a rare opportunity.”

As for the wild horses, he said there are about 300 in the Xeni Gwet’in area and more than 3,000 throughout the Tsilhqot’in Nation.

“We are establishing control to manage the horses in our area properly,” he explained.

From a young age when he was learning how to mountain race, he was also learning how to snare and chase wild horses and make catch pens.

“We rounded up 60 head of wild horses, myself and Darren Sulin.”

A DNA study on the genetics of the wild horses done for Xeni Gwet’in, the Valhalla Wilderness Society and Friends of Nemiah Valley at the Texas A&M University has yet to be released.

Meanwhile, as part of a moose management strategy, Tl’etinqox (Anaham) First Nation to the east of Xeni Gwet’in rounded up horses in 2019 for sale.

“We had an overpopulation of horses and they are taking over everything,” Chief Joe Alphonse said in an interview at the time. “They are cutting into the grazing. In IR2 for the last two years we had a community policy where we don’t allow horses in IR lands because we are allowing the hay to grow. We turn them out onto Crown land.”

Read more: Tl’etinqox rounds up horses for sale to protect moose habitat and hay fields

Lulua was elected Chief for the first time in February 2018 and at the time plans for filming the series were already underway.

“When I came on board I brought in my friend Roy Mulvahill who has been doing the Xeni Gwet’in Youth Wagon Trip with us for many years,” Lulua said. “I think Roy Mulvahill brings a different flavour. I’m looking forward to the second round.”

Read more: Xeni Gwet’in riders bound for 2019 Williams Lake Stampede

Praising Corus Entertainment for its work filming the show, Lulua said series producer Barry Davis did a great job of picking his team.

“They were super involved and a great fit that we’d welcome back at anytime. They participated in community events such as dinners and fundraisers.”

During the last two months of filming the crew was there every day and after the first four or five months it was natural to see cameras around and the community and everyone was used to it, he added.

“They were a great example for any other production team that might want to come here.”

When asked how he looks on TV, he replied “a bit scary.”

“I’ve seen myself on TV before, but this is a little bit different. It’s a whole new stage and we’ve never had that much exposure before.”

There are 10 one-hour episodes in the series.

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



news@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Competitors in Saturday’s Mountain Race at the Williams Lake Stampede in 2019 prepare for the race while film crews film cottage upcoming TV series. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Just Posted

COVID-19: City of Williams Lake issues reminder for residents to keep socially distant

The City has imposed a special regulation at the tennis courts

Warmer temperatures in the forecast for Cariboo Chilcotin, nights still cool

We checked in about winter with four women living in four directions of Williams Lake

Northern Sea Wolf service suspended for 2020; Nimpkish to serve route

The decision to suspend the route comes in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic

Second health care salute being planned for Williams Lake

‘We wanted to show everyone that we are going to be here through the whole pandemic’: CCSAR

Women win provincial award for Williams Lake Farmers Market work

Co-market managers Jane Bowser and Barb Scharf share the honour

COVID-19: Trudeau says 30K ventilators on the way; 3.6M Canadians claim benefits

Canada has seen more than 17,000 cases and at least 345 deaths due to COVID-19

Logan Boulet Effect: Green Shirt Day calls on Canadians to become organ donors

While social distancing, the day also honours the 16 lives lost in the 2018 Humboldt Broncos Crash

COMMENTARY: Knowing where COVID-19 cases are does not protect you

Dr. Bonnie Henry explains why B.C. withholds community names

As Canadians return home amid pandemic, border crossings dip to just 5% of usual traffic

Non-commercial land crossing dipped by 95%, air travel dropped by 96 per cent, according to the CBSA

B.C. wide burning restrictions come into effect April 16

‘Larger open burns pose an unnecessary risk and could detract from wildfire detection’

B.C. secures motel, hotel rooms for COVID-19 shelter space

Community centres, rooms reserved for pandemic self-isolation

Look at hospitalizations, not recovery stats for COVID-19, B.C. professor says

Cases in hospital are a definitive count of people who have the novel coronavirus

B.C. First Nations want to launch fight of Trans Mountain pipeline approval

Last month, the Supreme Court of Canada decided not to hear five challenges about the pipeline

Most Read