top of page


Directed by:

Harold C. Joe, Leslie D. Bland


90 minutes

Cowichan Chief Tzouhalem is arguably one of the most fascinating and polarizing figures in Canadian history. His story is a matter of historic record yet is the subject of legend. There is a mountain, road, and other landmarks on Cowichan territory named after him.


Saturday, October 28, 2023 at 7:00 PM

Sunday, October 29, 2023 at 10:00 AM


On-Demand (Worldwide). October 30 - November 5

Tzouhalem Official Trailer

This film is sponsored by:



Through interviews and creative re-enactments, Tzouhalem examines the account of the life of the near-mythic figure of Cowichan Chief from both historians and First Nations Elders, the folkloric tales concerning him, his impact on the relationship between the Crown and First Nations, and how his legend remains alive, examining critically how his story has been told and passed down to us.


It is generally believed that Tzouhalem, a deformed Indigenous boy, through his strength of character and mystical powers, taught to him by his Grandmother,  subdued his rivals, and transformed himself into the most powerful First Nations leader in the Pacific Northwest, before succumbing to his own immorality.




filmmaker-Luke Stirtz.png

Harold C. Joe

filmmaker-Luke Stirtz.png

Leslie D. Bland

filmmaker-Luke Stirtz.png

Harold C. Joe

Harold, a member of the Cowichan Tribes, dedicates himself to preserving and sharing the Cowichan culture as a cultural worker, archaeology consultant, filmmaker, and producer. A Capilano Film School alumnus, his notable works include his role as Xavier in the sitcom "Ollie and Emma" and contributions to "1491: The Untold Story of the Americas Before Columbus." He directed documentaries like "Wisdom of the River" and "Broken Down," addressing cultural values and homelessness challenges, respectively.

In 2018, Harold's significant project, "Dust 'n Bones," showcased his efforts in preserving First Nations artifacts and remains. This documentary, widely recognized, has been featured on channels worldwide and will soon be integrated into Cowichan school curricula.

His recent works include "Tzouhalem," a portrayal of the famed Cowichan Chief, and "A Cedar Is Life," a deep dive into the cedar tree's significance to West Coast First Nations culture. Additionally, his films, "The Reclamation of Steve Joe" and "Pow Wow Summer," are set for production in 2022. Harold is involved in multiple projects, including the "Gold in the Valley" documentary.

Above all, Harold champions the importance of transferring oral traditions and cultural insights to younger generations and aims to enlighten society about First Nations' identity.

Leslie D. Bland

Leslie has made significant contributions to the world of entertainment, having been involved in over 150 projects spanning film, TV, radio, and theatre. He directed the female-centric comedy "She Kills Me" for APTN and helmed the documentary "Gone South: How Canada Invented Hollywood" for Super Channel. From 2001 to 2010, Leslie rejuvenated the Kaleidoscope Theatre in Victoria, BC, elevating its community profile and achieving record attendance. Under his leadership, the theatre garnered several accolades and toured both nationally and internationally.

As a co-founder and Executive Producer of Edmonton's Stage Polaris for 12 years, Leslie played a pivotal role in its evolution into Edmonton's second-largest theatre company. He contributed to over 100 productions, and under his tenure, Polaris clinched multiple Edmonton Sterling Awards.

Leslie's vast experience extends to several professional theatres across Canada, such as the National Arts Centre and Theatre Calgary. His academic achievements include a B.F.A. from the University of Alberta, certifications from the Royal Conservatory of Music, and an M.F.A. from the University of Victoria. He has lectured internationally, taught at multiple universities, and currently instructs at the University of Victoria Theatre Department.



Leslie D. Bland

Harold Joe


Leslie D. Bland

Harold Joe


Leslie D. Bland

Harold Joe

Executive Producer

Barbara Osberg


Alexander Brendan Ferguson


Gavin Andrews

Joseph Boutilier


Gavin Andrews (Editor of Photography)

Leslie D. Bland (Edit Supervision)

Bonnie Hughson (Edit Supervision)

Makeup Department Head

Tanya Castaneda (as Tanya Castanada)

Production Supervisor

Barbara Osberg

Assistant Directors

Bonnie Hughson, First Assistant Director

Chris Jaycox, Second Assistant Director

Emrey Wright, First Assistant Director

Art Department

Renée Belliveau, Properties Master

Joseph Boutilier, Graphic Design

Sound Department

Evan Matthiesen, Location Audio | Post Audio

Jes Matthiesen, Location Audio

Daniel Taggart-Hodge, Location Audio

Camera and Electrical Department

Thomas Andrews, Camera Operator

Peter Olivastri, Camera Operator

Daniel Taggart-Hodge, Gaffer

Costume and Wardrobe Department

Janice Alton, Wardrobe Assistant

Sarah Nicole Faucher, Wardrobe Assistant

Cristal Sargen, tCostume Design | Head Of Wardrobe

Tiger Leonard Williams, Wardrobe Assistant

Script Supervisor

Sophie Underwood

Additional Crew

Thomas Andrews, Production Assistant

Bonnie Hughson, Production Assistant

Barbara Osberg, Locations Manager

Colin Preston, Image Research

Paula Switzer, Production Accountant

Sophie Underwood, Production Assistant

bottom of page