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Short film reflects Sto:lo culture

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  • Robert Schmidt
    http://www.canada.com/chilliwacktimes/news/showtime/story.html?id=9584e7f5- d574-4543-9541-e181fc81db97 Short film reflects Sto:lo culture Territory, language
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 30, 2008
      http://www.canada.com/chilliwacktimes/news/showtime/story.html?id=9584e7f5-
      d574-4543-9541-e181fc81db97

      Short film reflects Sto:lo culture
      Territory, language used in story about young girl who is taken away to a
      residential school

      Jonathan Hutchings, Special to The Times
      Published: Friday, September 05, 2008

      Two Vancover-based movie makers will feature Sto:lo territory and language
      in a film adaption this fall.

      Director Kate Kroll and producer Marilyn Thomas are adapting a children's
      book, titled Shi-Shi Etko, into a short film. The book, written by former
      Chilliwack resident Nicola Campbell, takes place in Sto:lo territory, four
      days before a young aboriginal girl is taken away to a residential school.
      Her family tries to instill a lasting sense of cultural identity.

      The book fuses cultural elements of Interior Salish with Sto:lo, reflecting
      Campbell's time spent in the Thompson Okanagan and Chilliwack areas.
      Filmmakers Kate Kroll (left) and Marilyn Thomas pose for a photo at the
      Vedder River after a day scouting locations for their film.

      "My time living in Sto:lo territory had a huge impact on my life," she
      said.

      Like many other aboriginal Canadians, Campbell is very familiar with this
      scenario. Most of her grandparents, uncles and aunts were either put into
      residential schools or taken away from their families and put into foster
      care. The past disruptions to family and cultural life are still felt today
      Campbell said.

      "It has a huge impact, not only on my life but on a lot of young aboriginal
      people's lives."

      Kroll hoped to adapt the book shortly after reading it.

      "I thought it would just make such a beautiul short film," she said.

      She brought her idea to Thomas who was also impressed with Campbell's
      ability to deal with such heavy subject matter and simultaneously pay
      tribute to her culture. They admired Campbell's approach.

      "I really like to have stuff that showcases the beauty of native culture,"
      Thomas said. " I think it's really important to show the beauty of who we
      are."

      The project got rolling after Kroll and Thomas received a Kick Start grant
      from the Directors Guild of Canada last fall. The guild gives financial aid
      to five projects every year. Without the grant it's unlikely the film would
      be in production at this time.

      Shi-Shi Etko may be the first film entirely in Halq'eméylem (an indigenous
      language that was spoken in Sto:lo territory). Although the dialogue was
      written in English, it was translated for authenticity.

      © Chilliwack Times 2008
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