The Last Metis | A Cultural Documentary In The Making

by Joseph James Mckay
(Banff, AB, Canada)

Training on the river 2014

Training on the river 2014

I am a Metis from Canada. I was raised in a bit more of a traditional style mostly by my grandparents. I feel I have been distanced from my native heritage over the last three decades.

As I watch my children grow up I realize that if I don't do something I will be the last true Metis in my family as the kids are being raised as white collar Urban native in the tourist town of Banff, Alberta, Canada.

My plan for this documentary is to canoe from our home in the Canadian Rockies to Montreal QC Via the lower fur trade route.

My two children will accompany me from Calgary AB to Winnipeg MB visiting the homesteads of their grandparents whose blood, sweat and tears are buried in this land for over 300 years. In the process learn about the Metis culture and their contribution to the peaceful settlement of what is now the Canadian west.

Could use help in fund raising and writing.

Canoeing, risk management and film recording I have covered.

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Feb 05, 2018
The Last Metis: A Cultural Documentary In The Making
by: Judith


What is the status of what should prove to be an important documentary?

You can email me at

Best wishes to you. Judith

Mar 20, 2015
Date and gear
by: Joe McKay

I have set the start date of the actual trip to be may 15th 2017, The main reason for the delay is that my son is only 5.5 years now and I want him to remember the trip and the experience. They will be 7.5 and 10 when we leave.


Zoom H4N
Sennheiser Wireless Lav
Audio Technica Boom mic
Canon 5D Mark II (upgrade to a III hopefully) Leaving my Mark 2 for backups and stills.
(1) GoPro HERO3: Black Edition
(1) GoPro HERO4
Panasonic AG HVX 200P (for studio work)
Host of batteries
Solar charger
Sat Phone data link
Macbook pro storage drives for backups
Few other things but that is the bulk of it.

Wish List: Drone for big sweeping shots and campsite eye candy.

This summer I am doing location shooting at the former HBC post my grandparents worked at and homesteads along the river. Which is a dozen different spots over 7 generations from Saskatchewan border to Lake Superior.

The Lake Superior to Montreal is mostly for my own satisfaction of completing something big and it may be the last big thing I do. I'll be 58 when I leave on this trip.

Mar 10, 2015
details of your trip
by: Desktop Documentaries

Hi Joseph,

Thanks for sharing! Sounds like an amazing journey. Have you set a date yet for your trip? What equipment do you plan to use to shoot your documentary?

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