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FILM TREVOR SOLWAY the new wave of young Indigenous filmmaker Trevor Solway: cutting a path for the up-and-coming. PHOTO: HANNAH MANYGUNS At just 25, Siksika-goo-wan filmmaker Trevor Solway has directed, distinctive narrative on parenting, from families lives. The 10 minute film offers an filmed, edited, and produced seven an Indigenous perspective. of his own short-films. Receiving his “Our parents, you know, they learnt certificate in Indigenous Independent how to be parents from residential school Digital Filmmaking from Capilano survivors. They didn’t always have the University, and a bachelor of Communications greatest examples. If we’re going to move from Mount Royal Uni- forward as Native People, we need to versity, his extensive education has be able to forgive each other, forgive our strengthened Solway’s natural knack parents, and show some grace.” for story-telling. The film’s cinematography is a prize for “I started off as a creative writer. That the eyes, along with great performances by was really the only outlet I had, because all actors involved. Solway says he couldn’t you only need a pencil and a paper to have made a film like Indian Giver without do that, and, when you’re from the rez his mentors’ guidance, and credits his professors and you don’t got a lotta’ money, that’s and friends at Capilano University. all you need.” “I went to an all Indigenous film school. But when he picked up a camera for We had a class called Indigenous cinema, the first time at age 20, suddenly everything and I learned a lot. You know, Native started to click. People were some of the first people “Once I broke down what it was, the to be documented on film. We were components of it, and how to use it, the in those nickle machines that Thomas limits were just endless,” he beams, “Film’s Edison made, where these flashing images my preferred medium of choice.” shown in black and white, and in one of Solways most note-worthy film to them, there were these Indigenous tribes date, Indian Giver, was shot in Siksika and doing their ceremony. So we’ve been tells the tale of a father who’s been absent at the forefront of film for a long time,” for 15 years, and tries to get back into his notes Solway. FILM BY HANNAH MANYGUNS “But, in the earlier days of film, Indigenous people weren’t portrayed the right way, and what that’s resulted in is a complete uneducation of North America. A lot of non-Indigenous people had the idea that natives were primitive, not caught up in society, second-class, and that we were these blood-thirsty savages they seen in Western movies. That’s not the case. We’ve been vastly mis-represented in films. And, you know, I think that’s just because Native people aren’t making, or aren’t put in positions, to make films. When you go back to when we had all of these big up-and-coming filmmakers learning their craft, like Steven Spielberg and Quentin Tarantino, Native People couldn’t even gather in groups of five. When the potlatch and Sundance ban happened, the Canadian government didn’t want Native People getting together to practice their ceremonies. If you can’t even practice your ceremonies, how could you even make a film? These are the kind of ideas we explored in Capilano.” Solway strives to carve out opportunity for up-and-coming indigenous filmmakers by being a mentor himself. In partnership with Canada Bridges, he has been running youth film camps for the past four years, with the camps taking place in Morley, Siksika, and Calgary. “I’m just trying to give that opportunity that I never had. When I was young I’d see filmmaking workshops, but they’d always be in Calgary. And it wasn’t possible for me to go to that when I was a kid. So now, when I put up these film camp posters, I take pride that it says: ‘Location – Siksika’. It gives the youth a chance to tell stories. That’s the goal of these film camps, to create that new wave of young Indigenous filmmakers, and get cameras into their hands a lot younger than I was.” Solway is currently in post-production for a docu-series called The Intertribal Series. Created in partnership with CJSW, “this series profiles four indigenous artists from Treaty 7 area,” explains Solway. “We have Armond Duck Chief, Darcy Turning Robe, Bebe Buckskin, and Olivia Tailfeathers.” Viewers can expect the series to be screened in Calgary in the coming months. BEATROUTE • FEBRUARY 2018 | 15