Thursday sees the screen debut of a film of cultural and environmental significance.
Ryan Dickie, a Dene storyteller and Wayne Sawchuk, a logger turned conservationist take a horseback journey of significance through the Muskwa-Kechika—one of the largest undeveloped wild landscapes left on earth. In the Land of Dreamers tells the story of the 16 million-acre wildlands in northeast British Columbia called the Muskwa-Kechika (M-K).
Stewarded by indigenous peoples for thousands of years, the region is the last intact landscape of its kind with more biodiversity, and in greater abundance, than anywhere in North America—and very few know it exists.
The story follows Ryan Dickie, a Dene-Kwagul photographer and filmmaker from Fort Nelson, and Wayne Sawchuck, a logger turned environmentalist and guide, as they explore the symbolism of Dechin: an ancestral Dene marker erected by Dreamers from centuries past that safeguarded sacred areas to fall back on in the case their peoples ever came across hard times.
Ryan introduces the symbolism of the Dechin as the key to ensure long-term protection for species, spaces and deepening his own relationship with his culture. Though they each grew up in industry (Ryan in Oil & Gas, Wayne in logging), they reflect on change: both the internal fight for it and the external changes of the future.
With only a fraction of the area currently protected, there is a movement afoot to reassert the M-K’s protection through a new indigenous-led proposal called Dene k’éh Kusān (Always Will Be There).
The film plays Thursday in Dawson Creek at KPAC at 6:30pm.