by Sara Roque & Lea Marin
National Film Board of Canada
2009, 43 min., DVD
On February 28, 2006, members of the Iroquois Confederacy (also known as the Haudenosaunee or People of the Longhouse) blockade a highway near Caledonia, Ontario to prevent a housing development on land that falls within their traditional territories.
The ensuing confrontation makes national headlines for months. But less well known is the crucial role played by the clan mothers of the community - the traditional source of power in the Haudenosaunee Nation.
With grace and honour, they rally the community on the Six Nations of the Grand River Reserve - with a population of 20,000, the largest reserve in Canada.
It is the clan mothers who set the rules for conduct. And when the community's chiefs ask people to abandon the barricades, it is the clan mothers who over-rule them.
Six Miles Deep is an inspiring and compelling portrait of a group of women whose actions have led a cultural reawakening in their traditionally matriarchal community.