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Documentary screening Saturday in Prince George focuses on Bennett Dam’s impact on Indigenous residents

The Tsay Keh Dene people were forcibly relocated to reserves outside of their territory when more than 175,000 hectares were flooded, including villages, graveyards, prime hunting, trapping and fishing grounds, and other culturally significant sites.
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DƏNE YI'INJETL (The Scattering of Man): A Nation Forgotten In The Name of Progress will be screened Saturday night at the Prince George Playhouse.

A documentary film about the Indigenous perspective on the creation of the W.A.C. Bennett Dam in Northern B.C. will be screened Saturday night at the Playhouse.

DƏNE YI'INJETL (The Scattering of Man): A Nation Forgotten In The Name of Progress is told from the perspective of the Tsay Keh Dene Nation and its membership about the events that took place before and after the flooding of their traditional territory by the dam.

In 1968, BC Hydro completed construction on the W.A.C. Bennett Dam and began flooding the Rocky Mountain Trench, forming Williston Lake, which had a huge effect on the Tsay Keh Dene people. They were forcibly relocated to reserves outside of their territory when more than 175,000 hectares were flooded, including villages, graveyards, prime hunting, trapping and fishing grounds, and other culturally significant sites.

The film chronicles the loss, disruption and dislocation caused by the creation of the reservoir. For the survivors and their descendants, the social, cultural, and economic effects of this event, including the collective trauma and a deep sense of loss, persist more than fifty years later.

Filmed over a three-year period from 2015-2018, and in post-production from 2018-2021, DƏNE YI’INJETL – The Scattering of Man is a Tsay Keh Dene Nation driven project that is fully financed by the Nation. The feature film is the directorial debut of Luke Gleeson, who is also a member of the Tsay Keh Dene.

Here is a short preview of the film.

The film will also be shown in Dawson Creek on June 17 at the Kiwanis Performing Arts Centre.

Both screenings start at 7 p.m. with tickets available at the box office.

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