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Published on Nov 25, 2015
The Song: Canoe Song was born from the Cheslatta River in northern British Columbia. After hearing stories from the elders of the Cheslatta Carrier Nation, Rachelle wanted to write a song about the displacement of First Nations People through the exploitation of the lands and waters of their home. She is grateful for the help of Roy Henry Vickers on this meditative musical journey, to Lillian Campbell and her musical brother and all-star producer Joby Baker, who took this song to a new level.
The Video: This video follows the 600km journey of a canoe named Manyhands (Nunsulsailus) from a Gitxsan village on the Skeena river to the historic gathering of nations in Bella Bella, BC for the Heiltsuk Nations' Qatuwas Festival in 2014. Manyhands brought the spirit of this song to life during its trip down the Skeena river, through the Skeena estuary and into the Pacific ocean where it joined a family of canoes and thousands of paddlers from up and down the Pacific Coast. Manyhands was honoured to paddle alongside Nisga'a, Tsimshian, Haida, Gitga'at and Kitasoo/Xaixais canoes who pulled together to represent the north coast at Qatuwas 2014.
The Canoe: Nunsulsailis is a Tsartlip word meaning many hands. This name was chosen to embody the spirit of many hands working together, supporting one another and pulling together in unison to enable a canoe (and a person) to travel safely for many miles in all conditions over the course of a lifetime. Roy Henry Vickers inspired Clipper to create a Northern Dancer canoe series, of which Manyhands was the very first canoe produced. Manyhands has traveled thousands of kilometres along the BC coast with hundreds of paddlers, including the historic 1997 journey from Hazelton to Victoria's inner Harbour.
This music video is dedicated to the people of British Columbia's north coast, who are pulling together to protect the lands and waters of their home.