Glwa Documentaries


‘Glwa’ follows Frank Brown and a group of Heiltsuk youth as they paddle down the coast of Washington State to honour the invitation of the Nisqually Tribe for Tribal Journeys 2016. Over a period of twelve days, the journey helped them learn and practice their cultural songs, dances, stories, language, and teachings. On the journey, they are connected with the natural environment and with other coastal Indigenous Nations, and began to reverse intergenerational trauma. 

Online Exhibit

In 13 short vignettes, this online exhibit captures individual aspects of the resurgence of the ocean-going canoe from Heiltsuk perspective, spanning from the ancestral teachings to the transformational experience of individual youths. The format makes it easy to explore the different themes within the classroom.

Traditional Teachings

The heart of this book is a set of seven fundamental truths that for thousands of years have guided Coastal First Nations. Frank Brown and Y. Kathy Brown assembled these truths through interviews with and advice from knowledge keepers:
- Hilistis, Pauline Waterfall/Heiltsuk Nation
- Wikalalisame’ga, Gloria Cranmer Webster/Namgis Nation
- Kii’iljus, Barbara Wilson/Haida Nation

Indigenous Rights and Title


32 pages

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) is an international instrument adopted by the United Nations on September 13, 2007, to enshrine (according to Article 43) the rights that “constitute the minimum standards for the survival, dignity and well-being of the indigenous peoples of the world.”  The UNDRIP protects collective rights that may not be addressed in other human rights charters that emphasize individual rights, and it also safeguards the individual rights of Indigenous people. The Declaration is the product of almost 25 years of deliberation by U.N. member states and Indigenous groups.

Indigenous-Led Conservation

The Indigenous Leadership Initiative strengthens Indigenous Nationhood in fulfilling the Indigenous cultural responsibility to our lands, the emergence of new generations of Indigenous leaders, and helping communities develop the skills and capacity that they will need as they continue to become fully respected and equally treated partners in Canada’s system of governance and its economic and social growth.

Canada’s Boreal is the largest intact forest left on the planet. Conserving this continent-wide stronghold of nature requires bold measures. By creating networks of large protected areas together with the Northern Indigenous Peoples and careful development, Canada’s Boreal Forest can be sustained for generations to come. 

Further Readings

Popularly thought of as a recreational vehicle and one of the key ingredients of an ideal wilderness getaway, the canoe is also a political vessel. A potent symbol and practice of Indigenous cultures and traditions, the canoe has also been adopted to assert conservation ideals, feminist empowerment, citizenship practices, and multicultural goals. Documenting many of these various uses, this book asserts that the canoe is not merely a matter of leisure and pleasure; it is folded into many facets of our political life.