Image from the poster for the Haida language film Sgaawaay K’uuna (Edge of the Knife) (submitted photo)

Haida-language film Edge of the Knife showing in Prince Rupert

Sgaawaay K’uuna has been featured at festivals across Canada

An acclaimed Haida language film, Sgaawaay K’uuna (Edge of the Knife), is coming to Prince Rupert.

The film has played at international film festivals, such as VIFF (Vancouver International Film Festival) and TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) and has won awards across Canada, including best Canadian Film and best director of a Canadian film by the Vancouver Films Critics Circle.

The film is the first of its kind. A feature film about Haida people in the Haida language, a language that only a select few people are fluent in.

The event, which will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 5, at the Lester Centre of the Arts, was spearheaded by Gidin Jaad, Erica Jean-Ryan.

READ MORE: PART I: How Prince Rupert schools teach Indigenous language to hundreds of students

She was born and raised on the North Coast, spending time in Prince Rupert, Lax Kw’alaams and Haida Gwaii where she works as an employee at Northern Savings Credit Union and as an aspiring teacher of the Haida dialect. Jean-Ryan, who was also selected to play a small role in the film said this whirlwind experience was the opportunity of a lifetime.

“The experience was like a dream, my opportunity to do exactly what I’ve been busting my butt for. It was an opportunity for me to refuel, recharge and get inspired and remember why I went to school for this,” Jean-Ryan said.

On the Prince Rupert side, Northern Savings Credit Union employee Leigh-Anne Magnussen put the wheels in motion to show support for her colleague, and to get the film screened on the North Coast.

“We noticed that the Edge of the Knife was playing all over Canada, but not here in the north. So we thought that was kind of weird that it wasn’t playing up here,” Magnussen said.

RELATED: PART II: Indigenous language and culture go hand in hand in Prince Rupert classrooms

Jean-Ryan and a group of elders taught the rest of the cast the three Haida dialects during a boot camp that took place before filming. The experience was surreal for Jean-Ryan.

“It was just beautiful to see all these people in the same room connecting and teaching these actors these languages,” Jean-Ryan said.

The doors of the Lester Centre will be open at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday for the show. Entry is by donation with all donations going toward the preservation of Haida dialects.

READ MORE: Part III: Saving an Indigenous language by teaching adults and creating an app

To report a typo, email: editor@thenorthernview.com.



Send Nick email
Like the The Northern View on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

MLA Jennifer Rice, Transition Society calling on city to open civic centre to homeless

City demands shelter close, but no response to pleas from shelter to open Jim Ciccone Civic Centre

Landlords are panicked

Risk is real for April rent and greater challenges are foreshadowed for May

Parade of welcome and love in Prince Rupert

Friends welcome new baby in drive by visit

Wage Subsidy up to 75 per cent announced

Businesses who have had a 30 per cent decrease can apply

‘We will get through this’: B.C. sees new COVID-19 death, but 57% have recovered

A total of 1,066 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

Association launches French-language games, online tools for families learning at home

Games, culture and vocabulary included in new virtual resources

‘There can be no ambiguity’: Travellers brought home to B.C. must self-isolate

Health Minister Adrian Dix said the mandatory isolation must be abided by

55+ BC Games cancelled amid COVID-19 concerns

Greater Victoria set to host 2021 event

BC Hydro offers three-month bill ‘holiday’ for those affected by COVID-19

Industrial customers can defer half of their power bills

Some April Fool’s Day jokes bring much-needed laughter; others tone deaf to COVID-19

Police are warning the public not to use the ongoing pandemic as a punchline

Canada’s 75% wage subsidy is coming, but not for several weeks: finance minister

Subsidy will cost Canada $71 billion, but push down cost of emergency benefit, Morneau said

Call before you dig into spring projects during isolation: BC 1 Call

BC 1 Call gives free checks for utilities in the area of a desired outdoor project

B.C.’s intersection speed cameras putting more tickets in the mail

One Nanaimo location delayed after speed limit reduced

Most Read