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Sault Ste. Marie

Dianne Whelan – 500 Days In The Wild (The Smart As Trees Podcast)

Adrian V 13 June 2024 1471 127 4

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Artist Statement

Ideas shape our lives. As a story teller, they are the seeds from which it all begins. As words give shape to breath, art gives shape to ideas.

For 30 years I have enjoyed telling stories in photographs, book, spoken word and in films. And more recently, on social media and interactive web projects.

I think my strength as a story teller is that I enjoy exploring all of these story telling mediums when I embark on a project. Each is like a spoke on a wheel.

500 DAYS IN THE WILD – From pushing 150-pounds of bike and packs over rocks, to hiking through flooded bogs, paddling the largest lake in the world, snowshoeing through dense coniferous forests, skiing across wind-blown plains, the trail beckons. Dianne travels the ‘Old Way’, the slow way of the turtle, seeking wisdom from those that live close to the land, asking the questions “What have we forgotten?” “What do we need to know?”

500 Days is the continuation of an old story – the artist dropping out of society and reconnecting to nature – but it is also a new story, a realization that we will not survive traveling solo. 500 Days is symbolic of the 500 years settlers have been on this land. Each morning on the trail, Dianne smudges as she was taught by Haida healers Vern Williams and his partner Diane Chambers and honors the ancestors of this land by praying for the murdered and missing women.

This film will challenge us to revisit our past, our connection to the land and its people, to find our inclusive story that will carry us into the future.

Directed by Dianne Whelan.
Produced by Dianne Whelan, Betsy Carson



Visit: Black~Fly~Jam


 “But to create a complete picture of a person, their spirit, their physical being,
their emotions and their intellectual being… all have to be intact and work in a very harmonious way.”

elder albert marshall
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