Filming is underway on Vancouver Island for a new television series documenting the lives of First Nations people who put their lives on the line when someone gets into trouble in the water.
Creator Steve Sxwithul’txw said that after years of watching these communities react to dangerous situations, he wanted to share their stories with the rest of the country.
“This is something that I thought was important to highlight, to make clear to people, ordinary Canadians, who might want to be enlightened by the good nature of our people, where incidents occur and where First Nations are able to react accordingly,” he said. All points west host Robyn Burns.
The series, Ocean Warriors: Mission Readywill follow four of the eight nations that are part of the Coastal Nations Auxiliary Coast Guardwhich was created in 2018.
Ahousaht First Nation Chief Greg Louie says he’s proud to see his people in the spotlight.
“Our people are very humble in what they do. They don’t do it for glory or to glorify the event they’ve taken part in,” he said.
For years, coastal First Nations have been involved in rescue efforts during maritime incidents. Indigenous peoples were among the first to respond to the fatal 2006 sinking of the Queen of the North ferry near Gil Island and the sinking of a whale-watching boat near Tofino that claimed the lives of six people in 2015.
“It’s ingrained in us,” Louie said. “It’s instilled in us. That’s why it happens from generation to generation, our people just have this innate skill that they’ll go out and save others.”
The Quatsino, ‘Namgeast, and the Heiltsuk First Nations will also be featured in the series.
Ocean Warriors: Mission Ready will air on APTN and CHEK TV, and Sxwithul’txw expects it to launch next spring.
Right now, he’s focused on collecting interviews and material to bring the 13-episode series to life.
“Again, these are not people who like to honk their horns. But when you sit down and look at them and see in their eyes, in their hearts, what they stand for…it’s just that will unwavering to go out there in sleet, rain or snow, wind, fog,” he said.
“Whatever it is – they are there.”
8:36New TV series documents the work of the Coastal Nations Auxiliary Coast Guard