In 2014 in Treaty 1 country, family members of missing and murdered women, girls, and two-spirit people founded a volunteer run organization called Drag the Red. The primary activity of DtR is to run a boat slowly along the Red River, in Winnipeg and surrounding areas, dredging the bottom of its murky waters with welded hooks, in hopes of dislodging evidence to help trace a missing loved one. Rise, Red River takes place several decades later, after the fracking, fires, and floods have ceased. The earth and her waters have warmed and broiled, land parched and cracked.
A lone matriarch has found the welded hooks. She has fashioned a holster to fasten them to her person. She walks the dried-up riverbed. She drags. She searches. She finds. With the metamorphosing companionship of an Ancestor, she uncovers human remains which speak their stories and weave hers together as they go. Rise, Red River is an ode to resilience. This land has always been and will always be who we belong to.