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Helen Knott, a Dane-Zaa/Nehiyaw social worker, poet and activist, explores the connection between violence against Indigenous women and violence against the land.


Peace River Rising offers an intimate view of the connection between violence against Indigenous women and violence against the land.

In this short documentary, we see Fort St. John, B.C. and the breathtaking surroundings of the Peace River region through the eyes of Helen Knott, a Dane-Zaa/Nehiyaw social worker, poet and activist.

Helen takes us through the dramatic changes she’s witnessed in her home territory. Woodlands she explored as a child have disappeared to make way for pipelines and housing developments to accommodate the influx of transient workers. Contamination from industrial endeavors has turned traditional activities — like berry picking — into potential hazards.

Helen explores the dangers of these industrial expansions, bringing to light the fact that Fort St. John, now primarily an oil and gas town, has a per capita crime rate that is nearly double that of  Vancouver.

On the streets of Fort St. John, Helen and a fellow lifetime resident reflect on the overwhelming ratio of men to women in their city: what was once a city of familiar faces is now overrun with strangers who have minimal personal attachment to the area.

Helen shares personal stories about the violence she’s encountered and her beliefs about how important it is to give voice to these experiences.

She leaves us with a deeper perspective into why she does the work she does — and her hopes for a new world.

Credits (Click to expand)

Executive Producer
Frederick Kroetsch

Produced by
Coty Savard
Rebecca Campbell

Coty Savard

Director of Photography
Frederick Kroetsch

Helen Knott
Heather Hatch

Coty Savard
Sarah Taylor

Colour Correction & Audio Mix
Suite One Productions

Associate Producer
Heather Hatch

Helen Knott
Connie Greyeyes
June Bigfoot

Nelson Klymochko

Additional Videographer
Josephine Anderson
Coty Savard

“Dreams Swirl By Me”
Joshua Van Tasse

Dream Journey3
Rob Daniel McAllister

A New Perspective On Life
Rob Daniel McAllister

Special Thanks
Lesley Birchard
Mélanie Lê Phan
Benjamin Gislason
Amnesty International
Shirley Knott
Kourtney Newbery
Mathias Street
Arlene and Ken Boon
Connie Greyeyes
June Bigfoot
Zoe Todd
Tashina Makokis
Katrina Beatty
Film and Video Arts Society of Alberta

All the people working towards a safer world for our women