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Sovereign Soil

David Curtis
2019 | 91 min

Selections and Awards

  • Official SelectionGuelph Film Festival, Guelph, Canada (2019)

  • Official SelectionYellowknife International Film Festival, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada (2019)

  • Official Selection Available Light Film Festival, Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada (2020)

  • Official SelectionTromsø International Film Festival, Tromsø, Norway (2020)

  • Official SelectionReFrame Film Festival, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada (2020)

  • Official Selection Santa Barbara International Film Festival, Santa Barbara, California, United States (2020)

  • Official Selection One World International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival, Prague, Czech Republic (2020)

  • Official Selection Festival du Film Canadien de Dieppe, Dieppe, France (2020)

  • Official Selection Modos de Comer (Ways of Eating) Festival, Portugal (2020)

  • Official Selection Wild & Scenic Film Festival, Nevada City, California, United States (2021)

  • Winner Crimson Snowflake Award International Festival of Winter Cinema, Edmonton, Canada (2021)

  • Nominee - Emerging FilmmakerYorkton Film Festival, Saskatchewan, Canada (2021)

  • Nominee - Documentary Science/Nature/Technology Yorkton Film Festival, Saskatchewan, Canada (2021)

Long Synopsis


Q&A with director David Curtis


Clip: Brussels sprouts

Clip: Birch syrup

Clip: First Nations sustainability


Jan and Gerry Couture

Grant Dowdell

Otto Muehlbach

John Lenart and Kim Melton

Sylvia Firsch and Berwyn Larson

Promotional Materials


David Curtis


Andrew Connors
Producer (Jackleg Films)

Photo : Gary Bremner Photography

Shirley Vercruysse
Producer (NFB)

Photo : Emily Cooper


Jackleg Films
In co-production with The National Film Board of Canada
In association with Northwestel Community Television
With the participation of Canada Media Fund
With the participation of Yukon Media Development

Sovereign Soil

Filmed on the traditional territories of the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in and the First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun, in and around Dawson City and the McQuesten River Valley, Yukon.

Writer and Director
David Curtis

Andrew Connors
Shirley Vercruysse

Director of Photography
John Price

Graham Withers

Daniel Janke

Location Sound and Aerial Photography
Michael Code


Sylvia Frisch
Berwyn Larson
Selwyn Frisch
Lillia Larson
Jackie Olson
Otto Muehlbach
John Lenart
Kim Melton
Josh Moses
Grant Dowdell
Karen Digby
Gerry Couture (In Memoriam)
Jan Couture
Angie Joseph-Rear
Paul Derry
Tiffany Taylor
Derrick Hastings

Also Appearing

Ryota Kubo
Norma Blanchard
Rickie Mawunganidze
Nick Rear
Graham Rudge
Erica Barta
Angela Edmunds
Emilie Aubin
Sasha Fergusson
Julia Sabrina Staudt
Dillan Taylor
Mike Taylor
Gareth Hoskisson
Cathie Findlay-Brook
Zach Yeager
Adam Titus
Nate Van Every
Warren Walters
Antoine Gerard
Donald Dunwoodie
Zach Everitt,
Guy Couture
Meredith Couture
Mistie Couture-Bogard
Thierry Guenez
Éléna Lacombe
Thierry Bégin


Masie Mae

Production Manager
David Curtis

Additional Camera
David Curtis
Marty O’Brien
Patrick McLaughlin
Andrew Connors
Neil Macdonald
Mike Code
Evelyn Pollock

Additional Location Sound
James Healey
Daniel Janke
René-Paul Singh
Marty O’Brien
Emile Bouffard

Additional Editing
David Curtis
Leah Byrne
Jessica Hall

Assistant Editor
Alexandra Knowles

Data Technicians
Alexandra Knowles
Angela Edmunds
James Healey
Evelyn Pollock

Sound Editing and Design
Stackwall Sound

Sound Editor
Jordy Walker

Post Production Sound
Post Modern Sound

Sound Mixers
Angelo Incoloyannis
Greg Stewart

Credits Design
Naomi Mark

Side Street Post Production

Kip Lightburn

Online Editor
Kevin Reid

Project Manager
Alisa Luke

Archival Photographs
Courtesy of The Couture Family

Archival Technician
Janice Cliff

Alexandra Knowles
Alicia Bickle

Jonathan Dowdell

Red Mammoth Café
Conny Handwerk
Emile Bouffard

Legal Services
Heather Watt, Boughton Law Corporation

Front Row Insurance

Accounting & Bookkeeping
Numbers Production Services
Baker Tilly WM LLP

National Film Board BC & Yukon Studio

Associate Producer
Teri Snelgrove

Line Producer
Jennifer Roworth

Technical Coordinator
Wes Machnikowski

Studio Administrator
Carla Jones

Production Coordinator
Kristyn Stilling

Marketing Manager
Kay Rondonneau

Katja De Bock

Executive Producer
Shirley Vercruysse

Thank you to all the participants

Molly Macdonald
Wade Lamarche
Wayne Potoroka
Jonathan Dowdell
Clayton Buhler
Megan Waterman
Dre Lasse
Chief Roberta Joseph
Ben Mogl-Maclean
John Steins
Tim Gerberding
Julie Frisch
Karen DuBois
Simone Rudge
Mercedes Taylor
Lynne Rear (In Memoriam)
John Lodder,
Byrun Shandler
Jackey Clancy
James Hedch
Trae Taylor
Michelle Charlie
Tyrell Hearty
Paul Blanchard (In Memoriam)
Jessi-John Whalen
Randy Lewis
George MacLeod
Kate Willams
Brian Bizzell
Dakota Hagan


Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Government
Michelle Van Beusekom
The Potoroka Family
Chris Clarke
Eileen and John Curtis
Katherine McCallum
Whitehouse Cabins
Emile Bouffard
Chris McNutt
Richard Lawrence
Iris Merritt
Betsy Carson
Charles Wilkinson
Tina Schliessler
John Walker
Max Fraser
Conny Handwerk
all citizens of Dawson City


Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Farm staff and workers,
Kokkopellie Farm
Klondike Valley Nursery
Uncle Berwyn’s Birch Syrup
Bonanza Market
Lastraw Ranch
Tr’ondek Hwech’in Heritage Department
Georgette MacLeod
Sue Parsons
Debbie Nagano
Jody Beaumont
Air North
Na Ho Productions
Trew Audio
Alchemy Café
Arctic Star Printing
Design Station
Klondike Kate’s
M. McKay & Associates
Tucker Carruthers
Heather Watt
Fusion Ciné
Hot Docs International Film Festival
Midnight Sun Coffee Roasters
Yukon Nissan
Dawson City Museum
Arctic Institute of Community-Based Research
Francis Bouffard
Galen Clarke
Fiona Curtis
Steven Brekelmens
Kildare Curtis
Jennifer MacKie
Dave Husby
Cari Tangedal
Jennifer Duncan
Jake Duncan
Nettie Wild
Daniel Cross
Daniel Johnston
Gerald Isaac
Bekah Miller
Michelle Latimer
Evelyn Pollock
Joe Cooke
Julie Frisch
Karen DuBois
Eldo Enns
Dan Sokolowski
Suzanne Crocker
Joe Bone
Darren Tate
Martin Qesku
Colin Bowes
Rob Toohey
Lulu Keating
Dexter MacRae
Joe Powell
Nicole Becker
Michelle Ross-Stanton
Tova Krentzman
Ross Burnet
Heather Horton
Roland Schlimme
Henry Connors
Guin Lalena
Tony Berto
Andrew Seymour
Charles Atlas Sheppard
Kerry Barber
Mary Clarke
Dan LeBrun
Monina Wittfoth
Bill Kenrdick
Carmen Pollard
Trans North Helicopters
Monica Keen
John Dippong
Mike Gravitis
Takashi Sakurai
Dave Husby
Ann Bernier
Victor Henry
Aaron Kirklyvich
Rachel Hunt
Andrew Taylor
Carl Taylor
John Wain


New Country
ⓟ © 2019 Daniel Janke, all rights reserved, S.O.C.A.N.
Ernie Tollar – clarinet
Daniel Morphy – percussion
Daniel Janke – piano and electronics

River Town
ⓟ © 2019 Daniel Janke, all rights reserved, S.O.C.A.N.
Mark Fewer – violin
Aaron Schwebel – violin
Roderick McLeod – viola
Paul Widner – cello
Tim Dawson – contrebasse

Words For Snow
ⓟ © 2016 Daniel Janke, all rights reserved, S.O.C.A.N.
Mark Fewer – violin
Aaron Schwebel – violin
Roderick McLeod – viola
Paul Widner – cello
Tim Dawson – contrebasse

Martha Blacks Reel
ⓟ © 1996 Daniel Janke, all rights reserved, S.O.C.A.N.
violin – Adele Armin
prepared piano – Daniel Janke

V’la le bon vent
ⓟ © 2004 traditional, arranged by Daniel Janke, all rights reserved, S.O.C.A.N.
violin – Mark Fewer
piano – Daniel Janke

Jackleg Films 

In association with Northwestel Community Television

Produced with the participation of
Canada Media Fund

Developed and produced with the participation of
Yukon Media Development

Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit
Government of Canada 

Production and Post Production Services
Side Street Post
Post Modern
Lodestar Productions
Midnight Light Media
Yukon Film Society

© 2019 Sovereign Soil Inc. and the National Film Board of Canada

Media Relations

  • About the NFB

    Founded in 1939, the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) is a one-of-a-kind producer, co-producer and distributor of distinctive, engaging, relevant and innovative documentary and animated films. As a talent incubator, it is one of the world’s leading creative centres. The NFB has enabled Canadians to tell and hear each other’s stories for over eight decades, and its films are a reliable and accessible educational resource. The NFB is also recognized around the world for its expertise in preservation and conservation, and for its rich and vibrant collection of works, which form a pillar of Canada’s cultural heritage. To date, the NFB has produced more than 14,000 works, 6,500 of which can be streamed free of charge at nfb.ca. The NFB and its productions and co-productions have earned over 7,000 awards, including 11 Oscars and an Honorary Academy Award for overall excellence in cinema.

  • About Jackleg Films

    Jackleg Films is a film and media production company based in Whitehorse, Yukon, that was incorporated in 2015. Its sole director is filmmaker Andrew Connors, who has more than 20 years’ experience writing, directing and producing films for broadcast and distribution.