Northwest British Columbia is a land of abundance and beauty. Teeming with wildlife, the mountains, rivers and valleys are also home to the Tahltan First Nation. Riches below the surface have inspired miners to call the region the “Golden Triangle.”
This landscape is the focus for Nettie Wild’s documentary KONELĪNE: Our land beautiful. The film-maker points a lens at the people who live and pass through this remarkable land, capturing the intersection of natural beauty, development and a native homeland.
Konelīne (pronounced koe-ne-lee-neh) is a Tahltan word that means “our land beautiful.” Wild says the one thing everyone in the region shares — from Tahltan elders to prospectors — is a love of the land.
Mineral development in the area can quickly turn controversial, as locals, developers, government and non-governmental organizations enter the mix. Wild captures these tensions while trying to stay above the fray by focusing on the people in the region.
“There are just so many films out there with people telling other people what to think,” Wild said in a phone interview from her home in Vancouver. “This film is not in my voice.”
Viewers meet Tahltan members who are employed by the development industry, as well as those opposed to and unsure about it. The film documents the Tahltan blockade at Imperial Metals’ Red Chris copper project (now a mine), as fears spiked in the aftermath of Imperial’s Mount Polley tailings spill farther south in B.C. in mid-2014.
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