In 1806 Métis guide Jacco Findlay was the first to blaze a pack trail over Howse Pass and the Continental Divide to British Columbia. He built two canoes and made a map for Canadian Explorer David Thompson— who followed the pack trail one-year later. Shortly thereafter, Jacco left the employment of the North West Company. He became one of the first Freemen or free traders during the 1820s and lived with his family in the Athabasca Valley. In 1907 the Canadian Federal Government passed an Order in Council for the creation of “Jasper Forest Park”—enforcing the evacuation of all the Métis families in the Athabasca Valley. By 1909 guns were seized causing the community to surrender their homeland--including Jacco’s grandson and descendants. Six Métis families made their exodus from Jasper in 1909 and 1910 after inhabiting the area for close to a century.
Long Road Home is a 45:13 minute HD documentary that focuses on the Jasper story and the 14-day return trip of the descendants of the six evicted families. The forty-five minute production features a Centennial Commemorative Journey in 2009—the Long Road Home after 100 years. Stories are shared through the voices of the descendants as they reveal their fight to preserve traditions, culture and a way of life, as Mountain Métis. Long Road Home was an Official Selection for the 2011 Dreamspeakers Film Festival.
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