Back to the Fire: In Search of Lost Values that Could Change Our World, is a six-part original documentary series that travels the globe uncovering ancient teachings and knowledge from Indigenous leaders on their ancestral lands.
Chief Gibby Jacob (Squamish Nation), is on a mission to preserve the valuable lessons of his ancestors. From his vantage point as a powerful land-rights negotiator and one of Canada’s most influential First Nations leaders, too many of today’s Indigenous youth have been denied the opportunity to learn from their elders. So Chief Gibby is going Back to the Fire—to the sacred place where sage wisdom is shared and passed down—to reclaim values and virtues and repair a traditional teaching cycle broken by colonialism and its attendant atrocities.
With an optimistic view on the future, each episode focuses on a distinct Nation and a topic (ie. environment, economic dev, education, spiritual healing, art, music) pairing a prominent Indigenous elder with a younger leader who they have mentored. Through deeply personal stories about life, language, culture, and the universe, we uncover how ancient values helped guide them through traumatic times and shaped them into the successful leaders they are today.
Back to the Fire aims to educate, enrich, enlighten and, above all, entertain. It is the perfect series for our troubled times—illustrating the benefits of sustainability, cultural preservation, community building, and, yes, reconciliation. The show seeks to reconcile all people in the broadest sense, bridging differences and celebrating our common humanity. It is shot in the style of the best travel shows—casting an artful lens on fascinating people and majestic landscapes rarely captured on camera.
The pilot episode features the esteemed Gwawaenuk Chief and author, Dr. Robert Joseph, a key figure in the reconciliation movement, and his fellow Chief, Mike Willie, owner of an eco-tourism company, as they explore their ancestral Kwakwaka’wakw territory in coastal B.C. The Chiefs take viewers by boat to the sacred estuary from which their first ancestor emerged, and inside the oldest Big House in the country.
Designed for a global audience, later episodes will take us further afield, profiling prominent leaders across Canada, the U.S., Central and South America, New Zealand, Australia and beyond, demonstrating how the traditional values of First Peoples remain urgently relevant the world over.