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Ottawa premiere: Edge of the Knife special screening at the Canadian Museum of History

10 April 2019

Toronto/Montréal, April 10, 2019 – Yesterday evening, the Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism, hosted the Ottawa premiere of SG̲aawaay Ḵ’uuna (Edge of the Knife), co-directed by Gwaai Edenshaw and Helen Haig-Brown, and produced by Jonathan Frantz with the award winning Zacharias Kunuk as Executive Producer.

The Ottawa Premiere of SG̲aawaay Ḵ’uuna, the first feature film spoken only in the endangered Haida languages, was attended by Members of Parliament, Senators, Indigenous leaders and organizations, private sponsors and the general public at the Canadian Museum of History.

This ground-breaking film tells the classic Haida story of the traumatized and stranded man transformed to Gaagiixiid, the wildman. The screenplay was written in 2015 by Gwaai and Jaalen Edenshaw, Graham Richard, and Leonie Sandercock with the aim to preserve and teach Haida. Delores Churchill, Haida Elder and actor in the film, who also translated the English script into the Haida languages, attended the screening.

Haida is a language in danger of extinction. While a hundred years ago all Haidas were fluent in the Haida language, today the number of speakers is down approximately three or four dozen, and nearly all of those speakers are over the age of 70.

The special screening was followed up a discussion and Q & A session moderated by Dr. Kahente Horn-Miller with panelists: Gwaai Edenshaw, Helen Haig-Brown, Delores Churchill, Benjamin Young and Zacharias Kunuk.

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