This RiverAn Indigenous perspective on the devastating experience of searching for a loved one who has disappeared. NOW STREAMING ON CBC GEM
A sister who went missing. A brother who disappeared. The devastating experience of searching for a loved one who didn't come home.
CBC Docs presents the NFB production This River.
When the body of a 14-year-old girl was pulled from Winnipeg’s Red River in 2014, it sparked a public outcry and renewed calls for a national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women. It also galvanized a small group of Winnipeg citizens, who took action and formed Drag the Red. This grassroots collective of volunteers searches the Red River and its banks for clues that might answer some of the questions surrounding the disappearances and murders.
It’s believed that as many as 4,000 Indigenous women, men and children in Canada have gone missing or been murdered since 1980. Indigenous families from all over the country understand this too well: everyone knows someone who didn’t come home.
In This River, Kyle Kematch and Katherena Vermette demonstrate this reality with profundity and humanity. Kyle, a full-time volunteer with Drag the Red, has a sister who went missing over five years ago. From May to October, he spends time on the water nearly every day, searching for clues that might provide hope for all the other families who have experienced similar tragedies. Katherena is a poet and writer whose work all stems from a family tragedy that happened more than 20 years ago. Though the circumstances of their losses are different, they each exemplify the beauty, grace, resilience and activism born out of the need to do something.