The 1995 Gustafsen Lake standoff was one of the most significant conflicts between Indigenous people and the Canadian state. Over 400 RCMP officers used helicopters, armoured personnel carriers and fired over 70,000 rounds of ammunition at the Indigenous land defenders over the 30 day siege. As Indigenous people involved in the conflict issue renewed calls for the Canadian government to hold an inquiry on the standoff, I speak with James (Jaymz) Pitawanakwat who was exiled as a result of the conflict and Kanahus Manuel, communications spokesperson for the Ts'Peten Defence Committee.
This is a personal project I did after having met Darlene Necan years ago, while she was in the middle of a battle with the government and the courts after having built a home in her ancestral lands. I would go on to consistently report about the case, which she eventually won, and about her untiring warrior spirit. In 2022, she became headsmen for the Ojibway Nation of Saugeen, in Northern Ontario.