Long lost historical film to screen

On Wednesday, February 19th, Yellowknife will get a glimpse of life in the North in 1957 as Dr. Tom Andrews, Territorial Archaeologist at the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre, screens Tie-cho-ka: Quelques images du Grand Nord.

The film has already been screened this month in Tulita and Norman Wells.

“This is an exciting opportunity for residents to witness the traditional ways of life in the Sahtu and mining heritage in Yellowknife,” says the Honourable Jackson Lafferty, Minister of Education, Culture and Employment. “This film is a wonderful lead in to Heritage Week in February and Aboriginal Languages Month in March, as we celebrate the importance of promoting and preserving our cultures, languages and traditions.”

The film was shot in 1957 by French anthropologist Jean Michéa and documents his travel to Yellowknife, Norman Wells and eventually to the Keele River in the mountains with the Shúhtagot’ine. The mountain footage is remarkable, covering more than half of the 25 minute silent film, and shows several Shúhtagot’ine families in their traditional lifestyles.

Approached by elders in the Sahtu to find the footage, Dr. Andrews spent two decades searching for Mr. Michéa. In December 2013, Dr. Andrews managed to connect with the filmmaker with the help of Dr. Chris Fletcher at Université Laval and his network of contacts in France. Now 95 years old and living in Paris, Mr. Michéa was able to dig through his personal archives and send a copy of the film. Dr. Andrews’ remarkable dedication to finding the footage is a tribute to his continued work in Northern archaeology.

The Yellowknife screenings is scheduled for Wednesday, February 19 at 7:00pm at PWNHC.

News Coverage

The recovery of Michéa’s film has been covered in the national press:

  • Decades-long hunt for mysterious French filmmaker yields rare look into the forgotten past of a Canadian tribe, National Post February 13, 2014.
  • 18-year quest brings 1957 film home to N.W.T. Dene, CBC News, February 1, 2014