One Year, One World: The Farewell Ceremony

Craig Benjamin, Campaigner for the Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Independent journalist Maggie Padlewska is in the midst of a one-year project to document under-reported stories in communities around the world. In May, her One Year, One World project took her to the northern British Columbia First Nation of Nak’azdli at a crucial moment for that community.

A large gold and copper mine is under construction on lands where the Nak’azdli people hunt, fish, trap and gather berries and medicines. When Maggie visited Nak’azdli, the community, which had no say in the decision to open the mine, was holding a sacred ceremony to pray for their land and for the safety of the mine workers.

Maggie’s short video, The Farewell Ceremony, tells the powerful and moving story of a community that remains determined to protect its culture and way of life.

OYOW: The Farewell Ceremony from Maggie Padlewska.

From the film-maker:

In 2008, the Colorado-based company, Thompson Creek, received permits from the BC government to proceed with the mining of copper and gold deposits located beneath the traditional lands of the Nak’azdli People, one of British Columbia’s First Nations communities. What was once a healthy forest, cared for by the Nak’azdli community who relied on it for food, medicinal plants, and ceremonies, is today an open pit mine that is a mere weeks away from extracting resources.

Here is their story…that of a community and people who have been left out of the conversation, as well as the corporate and legal proceedings…yet again.