HomeAlbertaNahanni Valley Expedition- Summer 2019

Nahanni Valley Expedition- Summer 2019

Nahanni Valley Expedition- Summer 2019

“The Nahanni River drains a vast land of fascinating beauty and splendor. The lure of gold has enticed many men through the canyons to this alluring land. Many have perished in it valley and mountains, some in search of gold. It is possible that most have died violent and unexplained deaths. Conjecture has given rise to all sorts of weird theories as to the cause of these misfortunes.”

– Dick Turner, Nahanni, 1989

For many Canadians today, the word ‘Nahanni’ is a foreign one. In some outdoor adventurers, it might evoke the South Nahanni River, a wild mountain waterway located in the southwest corner of the Northwest Territories; a subarctic Mecca for white water enthusiasts chock-full of world-class rapids, made famous by Raymond M. Patterson’s 1954 adventure book Dangerous River. Others might know it as a breathtaking National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site through which the South Nahanni runs; a land of astounding geological and biological diversity, complete with dizzying canyons, enormous tufa mounds, and a waterfall nearly twice the height of the Niagara Falls. To a relative few, however, this remote country hugging the junction of the British Columbia, Yukon, and Northwest Territories’ borders is a land of myth and mystery, home to legends commemorated in the names of its landmarks, such as Deadmen Valley, Headless Creek, Broken Skull Hot Springs, and the Funeral Range.

A screenshot from the documentary trailer below.

If you read our book Legends of the Nahanni Valley, then you already know all about these stories for which Nahanni Country is notorious. You know the tale of Willie and Frank McLeod, the hapless Metis prospectors who lost their heads in the Deadmen Valley, and the legend of their lost gold mine, which has yet to be found. You know about the ghost stories, the Evil Spirit, and the hairy, man-eating giants said to inhabit the caves that pockmark the Nahanni’s canyons. You know the tale of the White Queen, and of the ferocious Nahanni Indians over whom she ruled. You know the story of the Naha tribe- the brutal cavemen who mysteriously vanished long ago, in the dim recesses of the Nahanni’s dark history. And you know the legends of the Nahanni’s prehistoric residents- tales of mammoths, mastodons, and other antediluvian monsters which, some say, still roam the region to this very day.

Secrets of the Nahanni

We’re thrilled to announce that, in the summer of 2019, a company of courageous Canucks intend to explore this vale of mystery and menace and discover for themselves the secrets of what newspapers and magazines have dubbed the “Headless Valley”. They plan to explore the South Nahanni River from its mouth on the Liard River to its mysterious headwaters, nestled deep in the Mackenzie Mountains. And they hope to learn the native lore surrounding the South Nahanni from Dene elders, whose ancestors both feared and revered this ancient river.

A screenshot from the documentary trailer below.

The crewmembers intend to document their experience in a film entitled Secrets of the Nahanni. This documentary will be directed by Marc McPherson, a native of Calgary, Alberta. Dax Justin, a Calgary-based explorer, will serve as the expedition’s photographer. The documentary’s soundtrack will be put together by David James Nielsen, a composer based in Orlando, Florida. Chief Gerald Antoine, former Grand Chief of the Dehcho (Slavey) First Nation, will facilitate interviews with Dene elders in the native settlements that skirt Nahanni Country. And canoe guides from the outdoor adventure company Nahanni Wild will lead the crew through the rapids-riddled canyons of the South Nahanni River.

How to Help

In order to accomplish this dangerous venture, the Secrets of the Nahanni crew will require financial backing. If you’d like to learn more about their hopeful expedition, check them out on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. And if you’d like to help them achieve their goal (and acquire some goodies in the process), consider purchasing some of their “perks” on their Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign. These perks include:

  • $2 USD: Double Down Love
    • A personalized “thank you” on Facebook and Twitter
  • $15 USD: Digital Download of Film
    • “Thank you” on Facebook and Twitter
    • Digital download of film
  • $25 USD + Shipping: Expedition Patch and Film
    • “Thank you” on Facebook and Twitter
    • Digital download of film
    • An expedition patch, which you can attach to a hat, jacket, or backpack
  • $40 USD + Shipping: Expedition Patch, Photo, and Film
    • “Thank you” on Facebook and Twitter
    • Digital download of film
    • An expedition patch
    • A signed 4×6 production photo with a personal note from the crew
  • $50 USD + Shipping: Behind-The-Scenes Experience
    • “Thank you” on Facebook and Twitter
    • Digital download of film
    • An expedition patch
    • An 8×10 crew photo
    • Digital access to behind-the-scenes footage, including more in-depth stories, interviews, off-camera moments, and exclusive conversations with the filmmakers
  • $75 USD + Shipping: Nahanni Valley Explorer Pack
    • “Thank you” on Facebook and Twitter
    • Digital download of film
    • An expedition patch
    • An 8×10 crew photo
    • Digital access to behind-the-scenes footage
    • A signed map of the Nahanni Valley, with a personal note from the crew
  • $175 USD + Shipping: Film Fan Pack
    • “Thank you” on Facebook and Twitter
    • Digital download of film
    • An expedition patch
    • An 8×10 crew photo
    • Digital access to behind-the-scenes footage
    • A signed map of the Nahanni Valley
    • A signed DVD, poster, and 6 clips of Nahanni footage
  • $500 USD + Shipping: Photography / Filmmaking Session
    • “Thank you” on Facebook and Twitter
    • Digital download of film
    • An expedition patch
    • An 8×10 crew photo
    • Digital access to behind-the-scenes footage
    • A signed map of the Nahanni Valley
    • A signed DVD, poster, and 6 clips of Nahanni footage
    • An in-depth, 4 to 5-hour photography and filmmaking workshop with the crew, hosted in Banff, Alberta
  • $1,000 USD + Shipping: Associate Producer Pack
    • “Thank you” on Facebook and Twitter
    • Digital download of film
    • An expedition patch
    • An 8×10 crew photo
    • Digital access to behind-the-scenes footage
    • A signed map of the Nahanni Valley
    • A signed DVD, poster, and 6 clips of Nahanni footage
    • Photography/filmmaking session in Banff, Alberta
    • Credit as Associate Producer and a large canvas expedition photo
  • $2,500 USD + Shipping: Private Screening & Credit
    • “Thank you” on Facebook and Twitter
    • Digital download of film
    • An expedition patch
    • An 8×10 crew photo
    • Digital access to behind-the-scenes footage
    • A signed map of the Nahanni Valley
    • A signed DVD, poster, and 6 clips of Nahanni footage
    • Photography/filmmaking session in Banff, Alberta
    • Credit as Associate Producer and a large canvas expedition photo
    • Invitation to a private outdoor screening of the documentary with cast and crew in the Calgary/Banff area
  • $35,000 USD + Shipping: Deadman’s Valley Experience
    • “Thank you” on Facebook and Twitter
    • Digital download of film
    • An expedition patch
    • An 8×10 crew photo
    • Digital access to behind-the-scenes footage
    • A signed map of the Nahanni Valley
    • A signed DVD, poster, and 6 clips of Nahanni footage
    • Photography/filmmaking session in Banff, Alberta
    • Credit as Executive Producer and a large canvas expedition photo
    • Private screening in Calgary/Banff area
    • Customized expedition jacket, and invite to join the expedition in person

Written by

I'm a Western Canadian writer, carver, and fiddler who has a special place in his heart for history and the unexplained.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.