If you know anything about the Tiny House Warriors, you might think of their fight to stop the Trans Mountain Pipeline from crossing unceded Secwepemc Territory by building tiny houses along the Trans Mountain Pipeline route. With that might come thoughts and talks about the effects the pipeline has on climate change. Although climate change is a big part of the fight, filmmaker Tristan Greyeyes suggests taking a look at another narrative, the affect the pipeline and the man camps bring to Indigenous women, girls and two spirit peoples in the area. Her short documentary Tiny House Warriors offers this unique perspective often not portrayed in the media.

Shortly after the film begins, we are hit with the visuals of a dozen blood red dresses hanging in the camp above the virgin white snow, quickly hitting the viewer with a rush of emotion, grief, sadness, and anger often associated with the MMIWG2S movement. Greyeyes woke up early to capture this shot which she says, “Gave me shivers.” The shivers translate perfectly to film as the audience is sure to feel goosebumps as they watch the dresses on screen. With this the film successfully points out the direct link between extractive resources mining and the bodies of Indigenous women.

The film is a refreshing peaceful look at life on the camps the Tiny House Warriors occupy. Capturing the peacefulness of life at the camp, choosing not to include any violence seen at the camp, often perpetuated by the man camps the pipeline brings, that attract ‘creeps’ as Greyeyes puts it. One who ironically approached Greyeyes on her way to film, telling her she wasn’t supposed to be there. The choice to use this peaceful narrative in the film is to remind audiences that these land defenders are simply existing, occupying land on their own territory.

The beauty in the film is perhaps the fact that Greyeyes didn’t set to create a film at all. The images captured with her camera were on a trip to visit the camp. Which is why she was able to capture the peaceful nature of land defenders. Coming to the film with a perspective of the heart and natural instincts instead of the analytical filmmaker brain trying to dig out a conflict filled narrative.

“I often go to the frontlines and film,” says Greyeyes. “I ask myself what I can do to contribute to the frontlines.” The result is this beautiful film and reminder that the fight of land defenders is not their fight alone. With the film Greyeyes wants to remind audiences, “What they are doing is not only for them, but also for all of us, and it sets a precedent.”

If you would like to support the land defenders at the Tiny House Warriors visit www.tinyhousewarriors.com to learn more about their fight and how you can donate.

Tristin Greyeyes is Nehiyaw and Anishinaabe from Muskeg Lake Cree Nation. A lifelong learner, Tristin holds a certificate in Media Arts Production, a diploma in Indigenous Independent Digital Filmmaking and a bachelor’s degree in motion picture arts at Capilano University . She is interested in intersectional feminism, Land Back and is determined to empower Indigenous voices across Turtle Island through the art of filmmaking.

Samantha Loney is a Metis writer and podcaster from Barrie, Ontario. She has produced podcast episodes the Indigenous 150+ Podcast and is the writer and star of the fictional podcast series, Herstory the Podcast Series, available wherever you get your podcasts. She currently runs a nonprofit Metis and Me that teaches podcasting and storytelling to Metis youth, whose stories can be found on the Travelling Metis podcast.


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