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Documentary Emerging Ancestors

The documentary is an examination of the ways in which humans respond to conflict and adversity, namely with art. What does it mean to be an Emerging Ancestor? “Emerging Ancestors” seeks to engage with this topic through Indigenous and Ecological interpretations of an ‘elder’, in the sense of a teacher. Through this strong Indigenous lens, we seek to highlight the ways in which art can be used to move towards healing from trauma, struggle, the past, and more. Moreover, we seek to show death as a natural part of life, while still considering the need to fight for the sake of life in regard to the degenerating environment and social isolation. Our speakers range from Professors and Artists--such as comic artist and head of the UBC Institute for Critical Indigenous Studies, Dr. Bernie Perley; to independent Métis artist, Daphne Boyer; to Musqueam visual artist, Grace Ulu; to a Gitxsan artist and Independent Scholar, Michael Blackstock; to local student and activist, Yunji Hwang; to President of the BC Wheelchair Floorball Association, Kyle Gieni--and many more!

Producer & Director Keiko Honda says, “The Documentary Emerging Ancestors is an introduction to participatory storytelling. It addresses the broad question of how knowledge from nature can be integrated with knowledge of the humanities, especially regarding transcendence in one’s life. We use the water cycle as a model and metaphor to explore how best to build this synthesis of knowledge across disciplines and generations.” 


"Emerging Ancestors is an insightful and valuable contribution to the ideals of reconciliation and rebirth.  It is an essay, an attempt to explicate and honor the singularity of our world and of all our lives via a reliance on the consilience of knowledge frames, from the crucial ecological wisdom of First Nations culture to the meaning of art in the anthropocene."


Oliver Hockenhull

Filmmaker, writer/critic, digital media maker.


"Emerging Ancestors is a compelling film.  Water is used as a life force and as a powerful metaphor for the flow of human existence over time. In this wonderful film art, science, philosophy, and indigenous story-telling flow together, as the transcendent power of the human imagination is beautifully conveyed."


Laurie Anderson, Ph.D.

Executive Director, Vancouver Campus | Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Education / Interim Executive Director, SFU's Centre for Dialogue, Simon Fraser University