Clearwater Update

Dear Clearwater Supporters,

Happy Fall! We are beginning the editing and post-production process for our feature documentary, Clearwater, and wanted to give you an update on the progress we’ve made to date.

Over the past four years, we have shot over 900 hours of footage. This footage records the lives of individuals, families, and communities, three Canoe Journeys from southern parts of the Salish Sea up north to Bella Bella, and the many stories gathered at stops along the way. We’ve been honored by the honesty and hospitality along the journeys, and moved by the stories we’ve been told.

The cultures, people and waters of the Salish Sea are woven together. Featured in the film will be stories of how Indigenous peoples of the Salish Sea are holding on to traditional values and leading us all into the future. We have stories of creation, protection, activism, tragedy and celebration. Our characters speak of geoduck diving, art-making, LGBTQ rights, anti-coal trafficking work, protection of sacred grounds, the tragedy and memory of residential schools, and, in the end, a coming together of many peoples to celebrate the place we all call home. 

We have recently updated our story treatment and have started to assemble the best of our footage, and are aiming for a completed film in 2016.

Additionally, we have been working on a computer and mobile device application that will allow users to interact with stories of the Salish Sea. Twenty short films that each feature a tribe, an individual, an effort, or a history, will be accessed on a computer or mobile device simply by tapping on the location of that story on a map. Ten of the twenty “community videos” for the People of the Salish Seas computer/mobile device have been finished. 

One of these videos is a compilation of footage from Squaxin Island to Bella Bella by canoe.  It is currently on exhibition in the permanent Native American Gallery of the Seattle Art Museum. This special piece also features original music by our composer and Associate Producer BC Campbell and traditional music from the Suquamish Canoe Family. Also, several of our completed short community videos are on display as an installation on the Seattle Art Museum’s website.

And finally, you may have noticed that we have updated our clearwaterfilm.org website and we have started a Clearwater channel on Vimeo, where we will load the community stories as they are completed.

Thank you for your interest and your support of Clearwater. This is film about community, made by community. We are grateful that you are part it!


Tracy Rector, MEd
Media Activist