Our traditional Wet’suwet’en society is made up of five clans and thirteen house groups. Each clan, house and hereditary chief name has its own cin k’ikh, meaning “trail of songs” or history. This oral history describes place names on our traditional territory as well as events that took place on the land. “The Girl Who Married the Frog” is one of the origin stories of the frog crest. Belonging to the Likhsilyu, or the Small Frog Clan, I wanted to explore this story but in a contemporary context.
The legend involves a girl who goes missing, who is the daughter of a village chief. This inspired me to create characters who are also coping with the disappearance of a Wet’suwet’en girl, but during the height of the national public inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women. Similar to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, I feel the inquiry is a moment in time where we shine a light on the lingering shadow of our country’s colonial legacy. How Indigenous women and girls are valued by our society in the times to come will determine if reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people can ever be realized.
I also wanted to write a story that puts a spotlight on my people’s traditional worldview. I truly believe a fully revitalized and celebrated Indigenous culture unleashes an additional layer of depth and meaning to the hearts and minds of all Canadians who experience its beauty.
“The Girl Who Married the Frog” tells of events that took place on our land during time immemorial. “The Frog Girl” tells of events being experienced by our people right now.
Maybe the two are not so different.