HomeEntertainmentFirst Nations' role in marine rescues highlighted in B.C.-filmed docuseries

First Nations’ role in marine rescues highlighted in B.C.-filmed docuseries

Filming is underway on Vancouver Island for a new television series documenting the lives of First Nations people who put their lives on the line when someone is in trouble in the water. 

Creator Steve Sxwithul’txw said after years of watching these communities respond to dangerous situations, he wanted to share their stories with the rest of the country. 

“It’s something that I thought was important to highlight, to bring home to people, everyday Canadians, who might want to be enlightened by the good nature of our people, where incidences occur and First Nations are able to respond accordingly,” he told All Points West host Robyn Burns. 

The series, Ocean Warriors: Mission Ready, will follow four of the eight nations that are part of the Coastal Nations Coast Guard Auxiliary, which was established in 2018. 

Members of the Coastal Nations Coast Guard Auxiliary will be featured in a new docuseries, which is currently being filmed in B.C. (Steve Sxwithul’txw)

Ahousaht First Nation Chief Greg Louie says he’s proud to see his people being featured.

“Our people are very humble in what they do. They don’t do it for the glory or to glorify the event they were involved in,” he said. 

For years, coastal First Nations have been involved in rescue efforts during marine incidents. Indigenous people were among the first to respond to the 2006 fatal sinking of the Queen of the North ferry near Gil Island, and the capsizing of a whale-watching boat near Tofino that claimed the lives of six people in 2015. 

“It’s embedded in us,” Louie said. “It’s instilled in us. That’s why it’s been happening for generation after generation, our people just have this innate skill that they’re going to go out there and save others.”

The Quatsino, ‘Namgis, and Heiltsuk First Nations will also be featured in the series.

The Coastal Nations Coast Guard Auxiliary launched in 2018. (Photo by Jordan Wilson)

Ocean Warriors: Mission Ready will air on APTN and CHEK TV, and Sxwithul’txw expects it will launch sometime next spring. 

Right now, he’s focusing on gathering interviews and material to bring the 13-episode series to life. 

“Again, these aren’t people who like to toot their own horn. But when you sit down and look at them and see in their eyes, in their heart, what they represent … it’s quite simply this unabated will to go out there in sleet, rain or snow, wind, fog,” he said.

“It doesn’t matter what it is — they’re there.”

8:36New TV series documents work of Coastal Nations Coast Guard Auxiliary

The new TV series Ocean Warriors: Mission Ready is filming in communities on the B.C. coast this month. Producer and director Steve Sxwithul’txw and Ahousaht Chief Greg Louie spoke about the project with Robyn Burns. 8:36

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