As Heiltsuk Raises the Roof on Their Historic Big House, RAVEN Launches a Week of Action

Heiltusk are raising a Big House in the heart of their community where they can host potlatches, hold ceremonies and carry out traditional governance of their territory.

It’s no coincidence that the Big House opens on the anniversary of the Nathan E. Stewart spill. Fiercely determined to enshrine Indigenous stewardship practices into law, the Heiltsuk are taking a tragic occurrence and using it to catalyze a legal challenge that will strengthen shipping regulations and oil spill response so such a disaster can never happen again. At RAVEN, we are standing with the Heiltsuk in this historic, unprecedented moment by holding a Week of Action in support their legal case against Canada, BC and Kirby Corp. We’ve set an ambitious fundraising target for the week of October 12-21st, and invite you to join us in reaching out to friends and allies of the Heiltsuk to raise $10k during the historic Big House raising. You can share our Facebook and Instagram posts, join the #TeamOcean fundraising team, or forward our emails to friends and family who care about the health of the ocean and of maritime communities. 

As the Heiltsuk raise the roof on their Big House, it’s an honour to be part of laying the foundation for a just and sustainable future. 

Visit our campaign website at You’ll find videos, FAQs and stories about the case and the Nation who are at the forefront of ocean protection in the Great Bear Sea. Be inspired by the amazing people who live in and steward Heiltsuk territory, and join the #TeamOcean online fundraising team to be part of how, though the Nathan E. Stewart sank, the Heiltsuk are rising.

Communities are joining in supporting Heiltsuk by screening our film, Raven People Rising, which recently won Best Canadian Short at Regina International Film Festival. Check out upcoming events and host one of your own!

Raven People Rising will be playing Saturday and Sunday at Friday Harbor Film Festival. Raven People Rising chronicles the Heilstuk Nation’s efforts to chart a sustainable course through the troubled waters of the Great Bear Sea.  After the Nathan E. Stewart oil barge ran aground in their Great Bear Rainforest home, the Heilstuk took to the courts. Stunning footage combines with compelling storytelling to paint an urgent picture of a people poised to change the conversation about First Nations’ rights in Canada.

On October 5th at 7 pm, Hemma Yoga & Acupuncture at 1274 May St, Victoria BC will be hosting a film night of Raven People Rising followed by a discussion on reconciliation and protecting BC’s coast. This event is by donation with all proceeds going to support the Heiltsuk Nation legal battle. For more info please contact Silas Rose –

On October 8th, VIFF will screen RAVEN’s Heiltsuk film at Pacific Cinemateque. This special screening features two films that delve into Indigenous Nations’ relationships with the respective lands they call home. In Raven People Rising (dir. Andrea Palframan), we learn of the ancestral teachings that powerfully connect the Heiltsuk Nation to the Great Bear Rainforest. Meanwhile, When the Tide Goes Out(dir. Eliot Galan) examines how food sovereignty is at the heart of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation’s cultural reclamation and environmental restoration of their traditional territory.

For tickets and more info, visit:

On November 2 at the Cape Mudge Hall the community on Quadra Island will welcome elected and hereditary chiefs from the Heiltsuk Nation, The event features a screening of “Raven People Rising”, a silent auction, and first-hand reports from the Heiltsuk. Sierra Quadra is hosting the event. All Quadra and Campbell River residents are invited to support the Heiltsuk Nation’s fight to protect their traditional fishing grounds by making a donation through this page. The process is fast, easy and secure.


More events to come. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates.


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