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  • Own Voice

Kayak to Klemtu

Director Zoe Leigh Hopkins (Heiltsuk/Mohawk)
Year 2018
Run Time 91min
Genre Action/Adventure, Family

When a prominent Kitasoo/Xai’Xais activist passes away, his 14-year-old niece Ella (Blaney) embarks on a kayak journey to take his ashes home to Klemtu. It’s a race against the clock as Ella tries to make it back in time to give a speech protesting a proposed pipeline that would cross Indigenous land.

Ella is joined by her aunt, cousin and grumpy uncle (Cardinal), as the four paddle with all their might through the Inside Passage and past the shores of the Great Bear Rainforest. Join this family on the adventure of a lifetime that reflects on the importance of protecting our lands for future generations.

Winner of the 2017 imagineNATIVE Audience Choice Award.


Zoe Leigh Hopkins (Heiltsuk/Mohawk)

Hopkins is an alumna of the Sundance Institute’s Feature Film Program, and has directed numerous shorts, including Button Blanket, Mohawk Midnight Runners, Impossible to Contain and a segment of The Embargo Project. She has directed the features Kayak to Klemtu and Run Woman Run, which won the Audience Choice award at imagineNATIVE 2021. She is currently writing and directing the series Little Bird. 


Zoe Leigh Hopkins (Heiltsuk/Mohawk), Michael Sparaga


Lorne Cardinal (Cree), Ta’kaiya Blaney (Tla'amin), Evan Adams (Tla'amin)


Daniel Bekerman


Action/Adventure, Family


Environment, Female Filmmaker, Indigenous Filmmaker

Original Language


Canadian Distributor

Mongrel Media