I Hold the Dehcho in My Heart

Film Info

Film Year: 2019

Film Duration: 22 min

Country: Canada

Language: English


Lesley Johnson

Film Category

In July and August of 2017, a group of Indigenous students, elders and educators, embarked on a six week paddle trip down Canada’s longest river, the Mackenzie, known as the Dehcho in the Dene language, in an effort to reconnect with land and culture. Stretching over 1738 kilometers of the Northwest Territories, the Dehcho is an Indigenous homeland. “I Hold the Dehcho in my Heart / Sedze Tah Dehcho E’toh” focuses on the experience of two students, Kristen and Jiah, as they overcome the physical and mental challenges of such a rigorous and remote excursion, while learning cultural land-based skills from Dene elders. Kristen and Jiah challenge themselves by spending 42 days on the river, retracing the historic route of their ancestors for over 1200 km. These young Dene women overcome exhausting days and occasionally treacherous weather conditions, to feel cultural pride and gain valuable leadership skills to bring back to their home communities in the North.