613km Award - OAFF2019
Yellowknife International Film Festival 2019
Weengushk International Film Festival 2019
Ottawa Adventure Film Festival 2019
Tulita, Norman Wells, Yellowknife, Ottawa, Edmonton, Gatineau, Halifax
What many call the ‘worlds toughest hike’, the Canol Heritage Trail is a 355km rugged alpine path that weaves its way through vast canyons, rivers and thicket deep within the Mackenzie Mountains of the Sahtú region, NWT. In The Footsteps Of Our Ancestors is an epic documentary feature that follows the journey of 11 brave hikers during a 37-mile traverse of the trail as part of the 2017 Canol Youth Leadership Hike.
Tracing the abandoned remains of the Canol Pipeline project, one of World War II's failed energy pursuits, the diverse team of youth, elders and community guides walk in the footsteps of the Shúhtagot’ı̨nę Mountain Dene, the Indigenous stewards of the land since time immemorial.
Faced with some of the most beautiful and unforgiving wilderness found in Canada, the team quickly understand what the realities of life in the mountains would have been like for their Sahtú Dene and Métis ancestors and the difficulties faced by the American Army in building one of the greatest constructions projects of the 20th century.
With each foot placed in front of the other, the hikers reveal an enduring message for future generations and showcase the power of youth leadership, the spirit of teamwork, and the tremendous potential we unlock inside ourselves when we are chosen by the land.
A film by
Trails In Tandem
Northwestel Community TV
In partnership with
The Canol Youth Leadership Hike
Erinn Drage & Nicholas Castel
Director of Photography
---- Praise for "In The Footsteps Of Our Ancestors" ----
"This teaching is going to help educate the people. To see how we have to work together in the future for the next seven generations. It was very powerful film. Very much so." - Perry Bellegarde, Canadian National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations
"[A] meaningful film with Sahtu elders, leaders and youth. Great story, good images, time to breathe... an overall feeling of grace and gratitude." - Diz Glithero, National Coordinator for the Canadian Ocean Literacy Coalition (COLC)
"Truly gifted young people" - Norman Yakeleya, Dene National Chief of Canada
"The most beautiful scenery and awesome trek with more than a million dollar view. Good teamwork!" - Mary Jane Kunkel, daugher of Sahtú Dene Guide Fred Andrew
"Beautiful collaboration and fine film!" - Katherine Stauble, National Gallery of Canada
"A wonderful film" - The Yellowknifer Newspaper
Learn more at trailsintandem.com