THUNDER BAY, ON: Matawa First Nations Management (MFNM) is celebrating the premiere of the film ‘Journey to Our Homelands’ this week in Thunder Bay. Exactly three years after an historic journey by canoe, this film, chronicling this four-day paddling trip, will finally be shown on the big screen.
In September 2019, Nibinamik First Nation Elders Tommy Yellowhead and Stephen Neshinapaise, both born at PinnaeMootang, were accompanied by a small group of youth and a Shebafilms crew as they travelled an historic canoe route to their birthplace. They paddled southward from Nibinamik First Nation to their old village site, with the journey and experiences captured for the film ‘Journey to Our Homelands.’
Elders Tommy Yellowhead and Stephen Neshinapaise hope to inspire all Matawa First Nations to ‘think beyond the Indian Act’ and start reconnecting with each other through their lakes, rivers and trails, as they have done for millennia. The film hopes to encourage other Matawa members to connect socially with each other through their waterways and trails in order to demonstrate the current and traditional land usage for all Matawa communities and First Nation members. MFNM CEO David Paul Achneepineskum stated, “Matawa First Nations Management congratulates Nibinamik First Nation Elders Tommy Yellowhead and Stephen Neshinapaise on the premiere of this film highlighting our history on our traditional territories long before the Indian Act put us on reserves and our use of the land today—it will be a valuable learning and teaching tool for generations to come.”
After three years of post-production work, ‘Journey to Our Homelands’ will premiere at the 18th Annual Vox Popular Media Arts Festival on Thursday, September 8, 2022, at the Definitely Superior Art Gallery in the old
Cumberland Theatre at 115 Cumberland Street North in Thunder Bay.