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A Cedar Is Life

Directed by:

Leslie D. Bland & Harold C. Joe


Follow the journey of Archeological Consultant and Cultural Worker Harold C. Joe as he discovers more about the cedar. 


Through interviews with elders, mask carvers, medicinal harvesters, canoe makers, totem carvers, cedar bark weavers, those working with traditional food and cooking, and other hands-on practitioners along the West Coast, from Cowichan to Haida Gwaii, who speak about their crafts, we learn how all parts of the tree are important and useful.


Woven throughout the interviews is the image of Cedar Woman, based on a Cowichan legend, highlighting the importance of cedar’s spirit, existing as a living entity. The film investigates the evolution of artistic practice, comparing modern techniques and traditional methods, while highlighting the importance of protecting cedar trees. Cedars bridge cultural gaps today, Passing down knowledge to the next generation is essential to promote cultural strength in Indigenous communities.



Gavin Andrews

Leslie D. Bland

Harold Joe


Leslie D. Bland

Harold Joe


Leslie D. Bland

Harold Joe

Executive Producers

Bonnie Hughson

Barbara Osberg


Alexander Brendan Ferguson


Gavin Andrews, Director Of Photography

Mathew Gladman (camera operator)

Emily Robertson (camera operator)

Sound Department

Evan Matthiesen

Malcolm Owen-Flood

Daniel Taggart-Hodge

Costume and Wardrobe Department

Misty Buxton, Wardrobe

Editorial Department

Gavin Andrews, Editor

Leslie D. Bland, Post Production Supervision

Bonnie Hughson, Post Production Supervision

Additional Crew

Carla Belas, Production Assistant

Bonnie Hughson, Production Assistant

Colin Preston, Image Research

A Cedar Is Life Official Trailer

A Cedar Is Life

Directed by:

Leslie D. Bland & Harold C. Joe


90 minutes

FHFF On-Demand Streaming Partner

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