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Site C doc has broadcast premiere this week

'Wochiigii lo: End of the Peace' looks at impacts of land development on treaty rights and indigenous identity in northeastern B.C.
Diane Abel and her grandchildren overlooking the Site C dam construction site in a still from the documentary "Wochiigii lo: End of the Peace".

A new documentary about a local First Nation’s fight and protest against the Site C dam will have its broadcast premiere on the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network this week.

Wochiigii lo: End of the Peace first premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2021 and airs on APTN on Feb. 8, according to a news release.

Haida filmmaker Heather Hatch and her crew worked on the film for five years, which focuses on the construction of the $16-billion dam project on the Peace River at Fort St. John, and the impacts of land development on treaty rights and indigenous identity in the region.

The 85-minute documentary features a cast of local characters, though primarily centres around West Moberly Chief Roland Willson and Diane Abel, a West Moberly resident and grandmother, in their efforts stop the dam's construction.

“In making Wochiigii lo: End of the Peace, I sought to document juxtapositions that exist within our country – and how those contradictions impact Indigenous lives,” Hatch, who also wrote and helped produce the film, said in a statement.

“I wanted audiences to see a powerful testimony bearing witness to an epic political and activist struggle that many Canadians know little about, beyond scattered headlines, and getting this story onto APTN allows this story to reach more people, which is the goal of social justice.”

Construction of the earthfill dam at Site C is now around 90% complete, and the project more than 70% built overall. Last month, BC Hydro president Chris O’Riley told the BC Natural Resource Forum that the official target for commissioning is still nearly two years away.

However, he suggested the company could potentially generate first power in December of this year.

Wochiigii lo: End of the Peace continues to make the rounds on the festival circuit, with an upcoming screening also planned in Vancouver at the 2023 KDocsFF social justice film festival on Feb. 23.

Watch a trailer for the film below:

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