Our beautiful Vancouver Island nestled off Canada’s Pacific West Coast, lies the capital city of British Columbia, named after Queen Victoria. But not only is the island a home to a bustling city, it is a home to beautiful towns, deeply rooted cultures, and thriving rainforests where old growth cedars tell stories of the ancestors and spirits of the land. But as of late, the lushes rainforest has become presently in danger.
“We care about it especially after seeing it with our own eyes!”
The duo team Rande and Mona, recently visited Tsitika Valley, Northern island. Travelling with their amazing film crew, they were inspired to capture the essence of Rande Cook in the making of his documentary which lead them to his traditional lands of the Ma’amtagila territory. Met with them was Mark Worthing, a climate and conservation campaigner, and two reporters ambitious to witness for themselves.
It was a beautiful journey driving up the mountain sides taking in the rolling views of ocean, forests and bear cubs playfully scampering across the logging roads. But sadly became a harsh reality as clear cut devastation stretched for what felt like an eternity with sightings of CMT’s cut down and old growth cedars tagged for logging. At the end of a logging road, Mark took the team on an adventure by foot to a beautiful spot in the rainforest. Observing cedar trees and thriving plants brought joy, until sights of multiple coloured tags were reminders this will shortly become a memory.
What is the Tree Of Life?
Traditionally Indigenous Peoples call the beautiful cedar tree the Tree Of Life. Along with all the different species of trees in the forests and rainforest the cedar tree, in particular, is known to give life in many ways. From providing a thriving rainforest for wildlife to building houses and also known traditionally as a sacred wood for masks, totem poles, canoes, and much more.
So what are we doing?
We’re building a campaign called #TreeOfLife. In hopes to create much needed awareness around the devastation of our rainforests, old growth cedars and Mother Nature herself. Although we are in the early stages, eventually we want to develop youth programs educating our next generation of the sensitivity of our earth and work with like minded non profits with common goals. This will be the information page where we want to share and build a community of support. AND we want you to be part of this change!
Our first commitment…
We are showcasing a documentary! By Rande Cook directed and produced by Spartan Media Group with co-producers Rande Cook and Mona Elliott. Also featuring Mark Worthing. We aim to launch this through many media sources, stay tuned (see sneak peak below).
Also, we are now offering t-shirts and hoodies for purchase with an original tree design by Rande Cook along with our campaign slogan #TreeOfLife. With profits from each sale of these shirts we will be donating to a project of building awareness. See under our SHOP Tab for these shirts!
Let me share a bit of a story with you.
The ma’amtagila people have been in existence for thousands of years. This is my mother’s, father’s, father’s, father’s land and I hold a chieftainship from here. In 1998, we had our title removed by a man only for his own financial gain. To this date, we have lost all authority over our resources.
So, this sent me on a mission to collect as much information as I could to share with my people. I want to present a story true in fact.
Our old growth trees are being cleared within our territory along with CMT’s and many other destructive acts. As a chief of this tribe I went to see first hand what is happening and I left very sad. The truth is we as ma’amtagila people are being faced with extinction. The traces of our existence to the land are being removed. I am nothing without my land, we are nothing without our land as ma’amtagila people. So I set out to do what I do as an artist/chief. I went to assess the land and stage a photo of me in the middle of clear cut with some of my regalia. I brought a film crew with me to document and to share with everyone in hopes to gain new support and continual support.
This image is to show the harsh realities of our future if we keep consuming at the these rates as we are. Clear cutting at this extent isn’t good for many reasons. We will have nothing left and believe me when I say I’m no symbolic Chief. I couldn’t care less about a seat in a Potlatch that says I am a chief, I’m more concerned about the seat I have within the land.
Sneak Peak of the official selection of the Friday Harbor Film Fest 2019
A Rande Cook Documentary
Directed and produced by Spartan Media Group
Co-producers Rande Cook and Mona Elliott
Featuring Mark Worthing
We want to take the time to acknowledge those big hearts on this journey with us. To acknowledge the great work they are doing in helping us
Mark Worthing with Sierra Club BC - Thank you for showing great passion and hard work while being our frontline, our voice, our strength
Ria Giatsios and Lee Milliken with Spartan Media Group - Thank you for following us on this journey and showing great care and emotion in this work with these beautiful visuals
Leaf Modern Gallery
2624 Bridge Street Victoria B.C.
An exciting exhibition with a series of painted originals by Rande Cook, critiquing the Pope's apology and the impacts of Catholicism on Indigenous Peoples.
Join us at the gallery May 20 - June 11 2022
We will have a casual reception May 20th 4pm - 7pm