Three Feathers

Last updated
Three Feathers
Directed byCarla Ulrich
Produced by Richard Van Camp
Brent Kaulback
Ann LePine
Written byCarla Ulrich
Based onThree Feathers
by Richard Van Camp
StarringDavid Burke
Joel Evans
Dwight Moses
Eileen Beaver
Henry Beaver
Distributed by South Slave Divisional Education Council
Country Canada
South Slavey

Three Feathers is a Canadian drama film. The film was written and directed by Carla Ulrich and is based on the novel Three Feathers [1] by Richard Van Camp. [2]


The film stars David Burke as Flinch, Joel Evans as Bryce, and Dwight Moses as Rupert; along with Eileen and Henry Beaver as Elders Irene and Raymond. The cast also includes Tantoo Cardinal, Pat Burke, Crystal Benwell, Frankie Laviolette, Dante Kay-Grenier, and Trey Currie.


The film follows the journey of three young Dene men from the Northwest Territories after they commit a crime and are sentenced.

Flinch, Bryce, and Rupert were on a robbing spree in their hometown until one night when everything went wrong and they caused serious injuries to a respected Elder. Their community is angry and demands justice, but instead of being sent away to jail, they young men are sentenced through a traditional sentencing circle.

They are sent live on the land with two Elders, Irene and Raymond, for nine months, where they must learn how to take care of the land and how to take care of each other. In the beginning the men rebel, but they soon come to see the value in the teachings they receive from the Elders and the land.

The Elders share their teachings, gently guiding the young men to become responsible and competent. They show them how to learn from the land, and help them reconnect with their traditional language and cultural traditions. Indigenous values of respect, kindness, and sharing underlie everything they do.

After spending nearly a year on the land, Flinch, Bryce, and Rupert return to their community, hopeful that their apology and their changed ways will be enough to right the harm they caused. But will the community accept them and forgive them?

Three Feathers: The Movie explores the power and grace of restorative justice and the cultural legacy that can empower future generations. [3]


As the film takes place over nine months, it features scenes of life on the land throughout all four seasons. [4] In each season, the three young men have the opportunity to learn new lessons—from snowshoeing through deep snow in the winter to setting up a tipi in the summer.


The majority of the cast and crew [5] are residents of the Northwest Territories. [6]


Three Feathers: The Movie is the first film to be produced in four languages: [7] Chipewyan (Dëne Sųłıné Yatıé), Cree (Nēhiyawēwin), South Slavey (Dene Zhatıé), and English.

Related Research Articles

Northwest Territories Territory of Canada

The Northwest Territories is a federal territory of Canada. At a land area of approximately 1,144,000 km2 (442,000 sq mi) and a 2016 census population of 41,786, it is the second-largest and the most populous of the three territories in Northern Canada. Its estimated population as of 2020 is 44,982. Yellowknife became the territorial capital in 1967, following recommendations by the Carrothers Commission.

Yellowknife Territorial capital city in Northwest Territories, Canada

Yellowknife is the capital, only city, and largest community in the Northwest Territories, Canada. It is on the northern shore of Great Slave Lake, about 400 km (250 mi) south of the Arctic Circle, on the west side of Yellowknife Bay near the outlet of the Yellowknife River.

Wrigley, Northwest Territories Place in Northwest Territories, Canada

Wrigley is a "Designated Authority" in the Dehcho Region of the Northwest Territories, Canada. The Slavey Dene community is located on the east bank of the Mackenzie River, just below its confluence with the Wrigley River and about 466 mi (750 km) northwest of Yellowknife.

Tłı̨chǫ ethnic group

The Tłı̨chǫ people, sometimes spelled Tlicho and also known as the Dogrib, are a Dene First Nations people of the Athabaskan-speaking ethnolinguistic group living in the Northwest Territories, Canada.

Slavey is an Athabaskan language spoken among the Slavey and Sahtu people of Canada in the Northwest Territories where it also has official status. The language is written using Canadian Aboriginal syllabics or the Latin script.

Gwichʼin language Athabaskan language of the Gwich’in indigenous people

The Gwichʼin language belongs to the Athabaskan language family and is spoken by the Gwich'in First Nation (Canada) / Alaska Native People. It is also known in older or dialect-specific publications as Kutchin, Takudh, Tukudh, or Loucheux. Gwich'in is spoken primarily in the towns of Inuvik, Aklavik, Fort McPherson, and Tsiigehtchic, all in the Northwest Territories and Old Crow in Yukon of Canada. In Alaska of the United States, Gwichʼin is spoken in Beaver, Circle, Fort Yukon, Chalkyitsik, Birch Creek, Arctic Village, Eagle, and Venetie.

The Dené people are an indigenous group of First Nations who inhabit the northern boreal and Arctic regions of Canada. The Dené speak Northern Athabaskan languages. Dené is the common Athabaskan word for "people". The term "Dené" has two usages. More commonly, it is used narrowly to refer to the Athabaskan speakers of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut in Canada, especially including the Chipewyan (Denesuline), Tlicho (Dogrib), Yellowknives (T'atsaot'ine), Slavey, and Sahtu. But it is sometimes also used to refer to all Northern Athabaskan speakers, who are spread in a wide range all across Alaska and northern Canada. Note that Dené never includes the Pacific Coast Athabaskan or Southern Athabaskan speakers in the continental U.S., despite the fact that the term is used to denote the Athabaskan languages as a whole. The Southern Athabaskan speakers do, however, refer to themselves with similar words: Diné (Navajo) and Indé (Apache).

Sahtu ethnic group

The Sahtú or North Slavey are a Dene First Nations people of the Athabaskan-speaking ethnolinguistic group living in the vicinity of Great Bear Lake, Northwest Territories, Canada. The Sahtú peoples live in Colville Lake, Deline, Fort Good Hope, Norman Wells and Tulita which form the Sahtu Region of the NWT. The Dene of the region are represented by the Sahtu Dene Council who, in 1993, signed the Sahtu Dene and Metis Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement. Sahtú groups include the Hare Dene, Bear Lake Dene, and Mountain Dene. They call themselves also Ɂehdzo Got’ı̨ne.

Fort Smith, Northwest Territories Town in Northwest Territories, Canada

Fort Smith is a town in the South Slave Region of the Northwest Territories (NWT), Canada. It is located in the southeastern portion of the Northwest Territories, on the Slave River and adjacent to the Northwest Territories/Alberta border.

Same-sex marriage in the Northwest Territories Marriage

Same-sex marriage in the Northwest Territories has been legal since July 20, 2005. The Canadian territory began granting marriage licences to same-sex couples upon the granting of royal assent to the federal Civil Marriage Act.

Fort Providence Hamlet in Northwest Territories, Canada

Fort Providence is a hamlet in the South Slave Region of the Northwest Territories, Canada. Located west of Great Slave Lake, it has all-weather road connections by way of the Yellowknife Highway branch off the Mackenzie Highway, and the Deh Cho Bridge opened November 30, 2012 near Fort Providence over the Mackenzie. The bridge replaces the ice bridge and ferry, enabling year-round crossing of the river.

CBC North CBC radio and television services in Northern Canada

CBC North is the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's radio and television service in Northern Canada. It began operations in 1958 as the CBC Northern Service with radio broadcasts. It took over CFYK, a community-run station in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, which began broadcasting in 1948. CFYK had been opened by the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals.

Norman Wells Town in Northwest Territories, Canada

Norman Wells is the regional centre for the Sahtu Region of the Northwest Territories, Canada. The town is situated on the north side of the Mackenzie River and provides a view down the valley of the Franklin and Richardson mountains.

Yellowknives Aboriginal peoples of Canada

The Yellowknives, Yellow Knives, Copper Indians, Red Knives or T'atsaot'ine are indigenous peoples of Canada, one of the five main groups of the First Nations Dene who live in the Northwest Territories of Canada. The name, which is also the source for the later community of Yellowknife, derives from the colour of the tools made from copper deposits.

Łutselke First Nation - Designated Authority of Łutselkʼe in Northwest Territories, Canada

Łutselkʼe, also spelt Łutsel Kʼe, is a "designated authority" in the North Slave Region of the Northwest Territories, Canada. The community is located on the south shore near the eastern end of Great Slave Lake and until 1 July 1992, it was known as Snowdrift, as the community lies near the mouth of the Snowdrift River.

Gamèti Tłı̨chǫ Community Government in Northwest Territories, Canada

Gamètì, officially the Tłı̨chǫ Community Government of Gamètì is a community in the North Slave Region of the Northwest Territories, Canada. Gamètì, according to the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre means "rabbit-net lake". 'Gamè' means 'rabbit', and 'tì' means lake, or water. It is one of the four Tłı̨chǫ communities which form part of the Tlicho Government.

The history of the Northwest Territories begins with the population of the region by First Nations peoples, and proceeds through the transformation of it into provinces and territories of the nation of Canada, including the modern administrative unit of the Northwest Territories. When Europeans settlers began to divide the continent, the Northwest Territories included much of the sparsely populated regions of what is now western Canada. Over time, the provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba were formed out of the territories. In 1898, the Yukon territory became a separate entity and in 1999 Nunavut was formed from the eastern section.

South Slave Divisional Education Council School in Fort Smith, Northwest Territories, Canada

The South Slave Divisional Education Council (SSDEC) is the organizational entity responsible for the administration of public schools within the South Slave Region of the Northwest Territories, Canada. Its responsibility includes all schools within the five communities of the South Slave. Specifically, it is responsible for schools in the communities of Fort Resolution, Fort Smith, K'atl'odeche First Nation, Hay River, and Łutselk'e. Given the vast distances between communities, and the relatively small populations, the eight schools of the South Slave range in enrolment from 60 to 250 students. Although considered part of the South Slave Region by other departments of the Government of the Northwest Territories, the communities of Fort Providence and Kakisa are served by the Deh Cho Divisional Education Council and not the SSDEC.

The Language Bureau was a government agency that provided language services in the 11 official languages of the Northwest Territories for nearly 25 years.


  1. "Three Feathers". Portage & Main Press. 2015-05-22. Retrieved 2018-01-13.
  2. "NWT author's novel to become film, will be shot in 4 languages". My Yellowknife Now. Retrieved 2018-01-13.
  3. "The Making of Three Feathers — the Movie - Arctic Journal". Arctic Journal. 2017-08-31. Retrieved 2018-01-13.
  4. "NWT author's novel to become film, will be shot in 4 languages". My Yellowknife Now. Retrieved 2018-01-13.
  5. "The Making of Three Feathers — the Movie - Arctic Journal". Arctic Journal. 2017-08-31. Retrieved 2018-01-13.
  6. "Cast selected for Three Feathers film – Northern Journal". Retrieved 2018-01-13.
  7. "N.W.T. film shoots in Chipewyan, South Slavey and Bush Cree — with help from language experts | CBC News". CBC. Retrieved 2018-01-13.