The Lynching of Louie Sam

The Lynching of Louie Sam

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Running time:

52 minutes


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"The Lynching of Louie Sam is a gripping story that captures the conflict between Natives and non-natives, Canadians and Americans and highlights the different approaches to Native people in the two countries. It speaks to the past and the present and will be a wonderful addition to courses in Canadian history, social studies, law, and Native studies in schools and universities. It is a great film!"
     - John Lutz, University of Victoria, Department of History

In late February 1884, a lynch mob of 100 American men crossed the border into British Columbia, forcibly removed a 14-year-old Aboriginal boy from the custody of a Canadian constable, rode south a few miles and hanged him from a cedar tree.

For the Stó:lo First Nation, a people living along the dramatic gorges of BC's Fraser River, this tragedy is a defining moment in their history. In this film, they come together to tell the tale of the only documented case of a cross-border lynching in Canadian history. It's a story they've had to wait 100 years to tell.

Based on new historical research by Keith Thor Carlson, commissioned by Stó:lo Nation, The Lynching of Louie Sam examines the ongoing struggle of First Nations communities to have the wrongs of the past examined in a meaningful way. The film played a key role in the March 2006 decision by Washington State's Lieutenant Governor and House of Representatives to pass a resolution acknowledging this injustice.


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