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Tla’amin Nation film receives funding

TELUS provides $156,000 grant for production examining potential name change for city
AWARDED MONEY: Tla’amin Nation’s film called təm kʷaθ nan, regarding a potential name change for the City of Powell River, is the recipient of $156,000 from TELUS Originals, which will help fund the production of the full-length documentary.

A film being produced by Tla’amin Nation regarding a potential name change for the City of Powell River has been awarded a $156,000 grant from TELUS.

According to a media release from Tla’amin, təm kʷaθ nan (tum kwuth nun) means: “What is your name?” This is the question the new documentary film being produced by Tla’amin asks of a region and its residents, the release stated. The film documents Tla’amin's request that the city change its name.

təm kʷaθ nan has been in production since 2022 and hundreds of hours of interviews and footage have already been captured, the release stated. Through insightful interviews, Tla’amin oral history, archival imagery, heated and moving community engagement events, and powerful footage of support for and against this request, a local story with national relevance will be told, according to the release.

“I didn’t expect documenting this process to turn into a feature length documentary,” stated director Eileen Francis. “With the support of my nation, allied filmmakers, and TELUS Originals, I hope to provide a glimpse into the community I’ve grown up with. It is a community that deeply supports each other and a history that we all carry – both the good and bad. This documentary will enlighten those who grew up in this region to the 10,000-plus years of rich history that lay in this land.”

Tla’amin hegus John Hackett stated that the TELUS funding will help the nation to document this moment comprehensively and for perpetuity.

“təm kʷaθ nan will provide us a social and historical record during an unprecedented time of change in this region,” stated Hackett. “This film is shaping up to be a real eye-opener and I suspect it will put our town and this issue on the map nationally and globally. Closer to home, this film provides an important legacy of resistance and resilience that future generations will be proud of.” 

Cameron Zinger, director of TELUS local content and executive in charge of production for TELUS Originals, stated: “TELUS is proud to support təm kʷaθ nan, this important film undertaken by the Tla'amin Nation, which brings to life the importance of our shared history and names and language in understanding Tla’amin’s territory. Truth telling is necessary to advancing truth and reconciliation and creating an inclusive future in this country, a commitment that is embedded in our organization. We look forward to the impactful storytelling that will unfold through this film."

The film is directed by Tla’amin citizens Eileen Francis and Dr. Evan Adams, and is produced by Tla’amin Nation. təm kʷaθ nan will be released in June of 2025.

The release stated that City of Powell River is named after Israel Wood Powell, who served as BC’s superintendent of Indian affairs for 17 years. In May 2021, Tla’amin Nation asked for the name Powell to be removed from the city.

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