August 31, 2008: Filming started on Canyon War: The Untold Story, a ground-breaking documentary on First Nations-miner conflict during the Fraser River Gold Rush of 1858. The film was shot on locations in the Fraser Canyon exactly 150 Years after the war it depicted took place. It was made possible by a partnership between the Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation, the New Pathways to Gold Society (NPTGS), Heritage Canada, CN and BC150.
The documentary was co-hosted by Kevin Loring (Governor General Award-winning playwright and actor from the Lytton First Nation recently appointed as the National Arts Centre of Canada’s first ever artistic director of Indigenous Theatre) and Dr. Dan Marshall of the University of Victoria. Loring’s descendants resisted the thirty to forty thousand gold seekers who flooded into the Fraser River in 1858 while Marshall’s ancestors were among the gold-seekers. It was directed by award-winning Eva Wunderman from Hope, B.C.
Canyon War: The Untold Story debuted on Knowledge Network in 2010 and has also been aired on the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network and Public Televisions KCTS 9. The film won top honours at both the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival (NYIIFVF) and Worldfest 2010 (the Houston International Film Festival) in 2010.
The picture above shows some of the cast and crew after the first day of filming, posing in front of “Eddie,” the headless corpse prop, on the banks of the Fraser River in Yale.