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film & television production Kaha:wi

financiers APTN | Canada Media Fund

released 2014

run time 60 minutes

project type Documentary Film

director Shane Belcourt


Kaha:wi – The Cycle of Life is a 45-minute performing arts documentary showcasing Santee Smith (Six Nations) and her masterful interpretation of traditional Iroquois teachings, presented in a contemporary style through the dance and song of the Iroquois Nation. The show features Santee and her dance company, along with a strong Aboriginal supporting cast of family, friends and cultural bearers. Directed by Shane Belcourt (Métis), key dances are interwoven with a strong narrative through line: We were born in wholeness, we were fractured with the onset of modernity but now our communities are reborn into a new generation capable of harnessing the new age while steeped in the traditions. Combining the Kaha:wi dance performance with innovative documentary forms, this new work illustrates an incredibly universal Indigenous story, one that shows us, through our dance, music, languages, and arts, our unbroken circles are re-emerging with greater vitality.

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