Kwadacha By The River

Decades after being flooded out of their territory by a hydroelectric dam, the Indigenous northern BC community of Kwadacha grapples with the cultural and social impact that the loss of their land has on their heritage.

Creative team

Writers: Dave Shortt, Jessica Hallenbeck
Directors: Dave Shortt, Jessica Hallenbeck, Mitchell McCook
Producers: Lantern Films, Kwadacha First Nation

Filmmakers’ statement

Kwadacha By The River is a community film, created with the generosity and resilience of Elders, who came together to share their story of loss and survival. As Emil McCook says in the film, “it’s a valley that we’ve lost … and it’s lost forever as far as First Nations are concerned.”

Kwadacha By The River is about the devastating impacts of the W.A.C. Bennett Dam, one of the largest dams in the world. Through the film, we see the strength of Elders and of the Tsek’ene people in their courage to share personal and difficult truths with others.

Despite ongoing trauma from the dam’s construction, and the loss of their territory, Kwadacha came together to tell a painful story – one which everyone should know.

About Jessica Hallenbeck

Jessica Hallenbeck

Jessica Hallenbeck is a professionally trained filmmaker and community planner with over 15 years experience in documentary film production, participatory video facilitation and educational video creation. She has operated her own successful consulting practice for six years.

Jessica holds a BA in film from Queen’s University, an MA in community planning from the University of British Columbia (UBC), and is currently a PhD candidate in the Department of Geography at UBC.

Jessica is the co-founder of Lantern Films.


  1. Ann

    Thank you for making this film-its very important to know.

  2. Robert Derkson

    Best and friendliest community I’ve ever had pleasure of being in – lived and worked here for just shy of 20 years and will likely die here or at my cabin in the territory. The first Tsek’ene’ word I heard and learned is Panay, which means friend pretty powerful considering I was an outsider who could have just been another outsider that would take from them – the truth is they’ve given my more than I will likely ever be able to return…

  3. Rose Marie Timoshenko

    Great documentary- we are appalled by the destruction of the aboriginal way of life.
    N.and R.Timoshenko

  4. Remmy Dillon

    whoops nevermind

  5. Remmy Dillon

    how can I find the full 20 minute “Kwadacha by the River” documentary?

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