The new three-part short documentary series Inseparable highlights three Indigenous women who—through their chosen sport—connect with their ancestral homelands, preserve cultural practices and language and advocate for Indigenous rights.
Spanning the islands of Hawai’i and the sacred lands of the Kānaka Maoli, to the rugged coast of Makah Nation in the Pacific Northwest, and the mountains and trails of B.C.’s Squamish Nation, this series moves beyond sport to uncover a deeper connection with the world around us.
The films are available for free on WaterBear (email required).
Episode 1: Skye
SKYE KOLEANI RAZON-OLDS
Tribal Affiliations: Kanaka Maoli
Sport: Rock Climbing / Bouldering
History shows Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiians) climbed over mountains and scrambled rocks for trading purposes since time out of mind. Today, few Indigenous members of the islands see themselves reflected in the modern sports’ culture. Recognizing the need to bridge the connection, Skye Kolealani Razon-Olds founded Kanaka Climbers. Through her non-profit work, Skye and her family are calling on the climbing community to advocate for the protection of sacred spaces, including land and cultural resources, that are under threat of development.
Episode 2: Ava
Tribal Affiliations: Makah
Location: Neah Bay / Olympic National Park
The ocean has been a source of spiritual connection, traditional knowledge and
cultural practices for the Makah people for generations. After learning to surf through a local non-profit nearly half a decade ago, 13-year-old Ava now uses her sport as a way to connect with the land, ocean, and her elders. Alongside her five siblings and her mother, Ava surfs the well-known swell of Neah Bay on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington, one of the most ecologically diverse areas of the United States. Ava’s story highlights the critical role Indigenous youth play in the preservation of language, culture, and knowledge.
Episode 3: Myia
Tribal Affiliations: Skwxwú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation)
Location: Squamish, B.C.
Sport: Mountain Biking
As one of only 20 fluent Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) language speakers left in
Skwxwú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation), Myia Antone teaches as a way to preserve her language for generations to come. Seeking to learn more about her culture and language, Myia uses her mountain bike as a needle weaving through her ancestral lands and language. While biking with other Indigenous women, Myia utilizes the Skwxwú7mesh language to point out geographical features and native plants on rides. Weaving complex conversations through nuanced layers of generational trauma, Inseparable ultimately paints Indigenous joy and community as vital elements for a path forward.
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