SAMAQAN: Water Stories (Series 3), Drinking from my Mother's Well (Woolastook)
DirectorsJeff Bear Marianne Jones
ProducersKristy Assu Jeff Bear Marianne Jones
- Release Date 2013
- Running Time 22 minutes
- Closed Captions Yes
- Availability Canada, USA
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In English and Maliseet with English subtitles, Maliseet storyteller Jeff Bear returns to his traditional territory at Negootkoog, which is situated at the confluence of the Woolastook and Tobique Rivers. The Woolastook is the mighty St. John River (from the Maliseet word wolastoq meaning beautiful river). The St. John River valley has a long history as the highway of discovery. It was along the river that the first colonial settlers built their homes, displacing most Maliseet from their traditional fishing grounds. NB Power has dammed most of the river and 50 years ago, the largest of these, the Mactaquac dam and generating station, was built without any consultation with First Nations people. It had no ladders for Atlantic salmon returning to spawn. Years after operating, the shoreline has eroded and there are no fish in a once plentiful river. Maliseet living near this generating station have increased levels of cancer and wonder about its effects on their health. Mactaquac is expected to reach the end of its service life in 2030 and a decision soon needs to be made on whether to repower it, build a new spillway or return the river to its natural flow. Maliseet Elders Shirley Bear and Henrietta Black recall the abundance of life in and along the river before the dams and industry altered the river and its shoreline so drastically. Their people are concerned about pollution from lumber mills upstream and the effects of polluted waters on plants used for traditional medicines. As a child, Jeff Bear's mother told him, "Take care of the water, my son," an appeal that now resonates stronger than ever.
This documentary from SAMAQAN: Water Stories, Series 3, looks deeper at water's role in culture, spirituality and life itself for North America's First Nations people.
Directed by: Marianne Jones, Jeff Bear
Produced by: Marianne Jones, Kristy Assu, Jeff Bear
Titles included in SAMAQAN: Water Stories (Series 3):
- Without Running Water, Part 1 (22 minutes)
- Without Running Water, Part 2 (22 minutes)
- Kitigan Zibi Waters (22 minutes)
- Kahnawake Waters, Part 1 (22 minutes)
- Kahnawake Waters, Part 2 (22 minutes)
- Tribal Journey, Part 1: Paddle to Squaxin (22 minutes)
- Tribal Journey, Part 2: Nala Winds (22 minutes)
- Tribal Journey, Part 3: Kwumut Lelum (22 minutes)
- Tribal Journey, Part 4: Maori Waka, Dugout Canoe and Birch Bark (22 minutes)
- Tribal Journey, Part 5: The Village Welcome (22 minutes)
- Tribal Journey, Part 6: Landings and Protocol (22 minutes)
- Every Year the Salmon Come Back (22 minutes)
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