Harold C. Joe, (pictured) a documentary filmmaker and a member of Cowichan Tribes, and production company Drama Camp Productions are making a documentary about the Valley’s famous Chief Tzouhalem. (File photo)

Documentary on legendary Chief Tzouhalem to be filmed in Cowichan

Film by Indigenous-operated Drama Camp Productions and Victoria’s Less Bland Productions

A film crew will soon be in the Cowichan Valley to conclude a feature documentary on the Valley’s iconic Cowichan Chief Tzouhalem.

Leslie Bland, from Less Bland Productions, an award-winning film and television company located in Victoria, said the documentary will examine the near-mythic figure of Chief Tzouhalem through interviews and creative re-enactments.

Chief Tzouhalem was a Quamichan warrior who, in 1844, led a historically documented attack on Fort Victoria, among other legendary exploits.

The Cowichan Valley’s Mount Tzouhalem was named for him after he lived his final years on the side of the mountain after being banished by his own people.

RELATED STORY: HAUNTED? OLD STONE BUTTER CHURCH IN DUNCAN HAS GHOSTLY REPUTATION

“Chief Tzouhalem was a really interesting person who, among other things, was a key figure in the Battle of Maple Bay (in which an alliance of Coast Salish groups engaged in a maritime canoe battle against the Kwakwaka’wakw Lekwiltok at Maple Bay in the mid-nineteenth century),” Bland said.

“We’ll be investigating Chief Tzouhalem’s history and the legends around him, and we’ll also be exploring how his story came to us. Did it come to us from the colonists’ perspective, or from the voices of the First Nations? There are different accounts of his life and the documentary will be a critical examination of the stories, not just straight-up history. We will hear accounts of his life and times from First Nations, elders, and historians.”

Bland said LBP is producing the documentary through its affiliated First Nations’ controlled production company Drama Camp Productions, a joint venture between Cowichan filmmaker Harold C. Joe and LBP.

Joe is a member of Cowichan Tribes who has, over the years, worked as a cultural consultant, archeology assistant, resource management technician and documentary filmmaker.

In 2018, Drama Camp Productions produced Dust n’ Bones, a documentary that brings to light the legal, political, historical and spiritual challenges faced by First Nations leaders and archaeologists as they fight to give disinterred ancestors their proper reverence.

RELATED STORY: DUST ‘N BONES IS ONSCREEN AT THE COWICHAN PERFORMING ARTS CENTRE

Dust n’ Bones has been broadcast around the world, has received theatrical distribution at local venues, and is now being screened throughout the Gulf Islands to aid in reconciliation efforts.

“Following a pause in production due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the filming of Tzouhalem will commence in mid-July, with the projected completion of the documentary at the end of December,” Bland said.

The documentary is supported by the Canada Media Fund and will be broadcast on CHEK TV and Super Channel following a theatrical release.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Arts and Entertainment

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

Just Posted

BEHIND BARS: Relaxed and refreshed at The Palms

Sneak peek at Victoria’s freshest new bar

Ocie Elliott: Facing the Music

Victoria duo describes effects of COVID crisis

YOUR AUGUST HOROSCOPE: It’s Leo Season!

Georgia Nicols giving us insight on what lies ahead this summer

The Old Schoolhouse Arts Centre in Qualicum Beach to re-open on Aug. 11

Hours are Tuesday to Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Sand sculptor creates special eagle head in Qualicum Beach

Kaube fashions work behind Civic Centre

Parksville artist takes home Sooke Fine Arts People’s Choice Award

Francine Street’s winning piece is titled ‘Ken’

Poetry contest started for Vancouver Island poets

“We’re such a unique group,” says founder on why she wanted to start the collective

Nanaimo Fringe Festival productions adapt to new online format

10th annual festival to be live-streamed due to COVID-19

Island pub wants people to ‘drop five’ to keep music alive

Royston’s Charlie Aiken thinks his plan can help artists and venues alike

First Arts Alive sculptures of 2020 now installed

Oak Bay’s annual public art exhibition starts anew

Most Read