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The Lake Winnipeg Project
The Lake Winnipeg Project

Matheson Island

| 14 min

The Lake Winnipeg Project is a four-part documentary series that calls attention to stories of ingenuity and resilience among the Anishinaabe, Cree and Métis communities of Matheson Island, Poplar River First Nation, Fisher River Cree Nation and Camp Morningstar, at a time when many external forces are imposing change. The series highlights their responses to various challenges and factors such as a shifting climate, industrial encroachment, government policy, and the COVID-19 pandemic, among others. Anishinaabe/Cree director Kevin Settee takes an “own-voices” approach to storytelling that gives Lake Winnipeg communities and peoples the opportunity to tell their own stories, in their own voices, and to speak to the challenges and successes experienced within their communities.

  • writer
    Kevin Settee
  • director
    Kevin Settee
  • producer
    Alicia Smith
  • executive producer
    David Christensen
  • picture editor
    Scott Parker
  • director of photography
    Scott Parker


  • This film tells the story of the Whiteways of Matheson Island, who for generations have depended on commercial fishing as a means of survival and livelihood. The Whiteways share their devotion to their fishing lifestyle and the fulfillment and freedom it provides, as well as various challenges that arise due to factors such as health, government policy and the threatened future of the fishing industry.
  • This film explores the special connection that Poplar River First Nation has to the lands and waters surrounding their community. Poplar River community members Sophia Rabliauskas and Clint Bittern share their perspectives on the importance and intergenerational responsibility of protecting the lands and waters in their territory for generations to come.
  • This film shares the story of Camp Morningstar, a sacred camp established on the east side of Lake Winnipeg that was erected in response to the proposal of a silica sand mine. The film explores Camp Morningstar’s historical and spiritual connections to territory, the role of ceremony and spirituality, and the power of collective action.
  • This film narrows in on stories of generosity and perseverance in Fisher River Cree Nation in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Stories include the purchase and distribution of fish on a community and intra-community level, as well as stories of mothers who experienced unique challenges of their own while continuing to provide support and care to their families and communities.


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