Tiffany Ayalik + Okpik: Little Village In The Arctic
i. Name: Tiffany Ayalik
ii. I am: A filmmaker and musician.
iii. The name and premiere of my current documentary is:
‘Okpik: Little Village in the Arctic’ premiering on August 5 in Inuvialuktun on CBC Gem and August 6 in English on CBC Manitoba.
Indigo. Photo by Kelly Kamo McHugh
iv. In describing the documentary in 3 sentences or less, I’d say:
We follow Kylik Kisoun Taylor, his daughter Indigo and his crew in the creation of an off-grid community and farm that is rooted in Indigenous methods of hunting and foraging. Using local materials and traditional knowledge, Kisoun Taylor, an Inuit/Gwich’in hunter, will re-establish and re-imagine the lost practice of building a traditional Inuvialuit log cabin with a sod roof with the intention of creating housing security and an opportunity for language and cultural revitalization in his traditional territory of the Beaufort Delta. Implementing the Inuvialuktun language during the build, in all aspects of camp life and in the film was an important component that rooted the village in decolonizing and re-Indigenizing practices.
v. In the show, you’ll see:
Breathtaking scenes of the Arctic in each of her seasons, the seeds of a wild idea taking shape and the innovation and ingenuity of Indigenous worldview unfolding in real time.
Sod House. Photo by Kelly Kamo McHugh
vi. The inspiration for this documentary comes from: the incredible story and passion that Kylik has for giving back to his community. Watching people who are fed up with where things are who are motivated into action is a powerful thing to capture.
vii. One thing I learned about myself in creating this show is:
I learned a great deal about trusting my instincts with this project. I felt very strongly about including a traditional Inuit legend in the film to mirror the journey of Kylik and his family and I am so proud I took that risk, it’s a beautiful element of the film.
viii. My past work includes:
Producing and writing ‘Food for the Rest of Us’, a documentary about farming as activism, hosting ‘Wild Kitchen’ (FNX, NorthwesTel), hosting and directing ‘NorthernHer’ (CBC) and touring and composing as an Inuit throat singing musician with my sister in our band, PIQSIQ
Photo by Kelly Kamo McHugh
ix. After this show, I’m looking forward to: taking a break and going camping and hunting.
x. Anything to add:
Creating a full Inuvialuktun version of the film to be broadcast on CBC is an unprecedented undertaking. The team and translators did an incredible job handling the language and helping us create a resource for a language that is endangered. I am so honoured that they trusted us with this task.
Header Image: Tiffany Ayalik Directing