Voices from the Barrens - Synopsis


Voices from the Barrens: Native Peoples, Blueberries and Sovereignty follows the annual migration of Native Peoples from Canada and within the USA to hand rake wild blueberries on the barrens of Maine. The story touches on the ancient pattern of this migration and how it relates to border crossings and Agri-Business in the 21st century. It is a positive story of a people’s participation across an international border in a harvest, which has roots in their traditional lifestyle on their ancestral homelands.

Abbreviated Film History/Timeline

  • 2013 – Film research with Cherryfield Foods, Wymans of Maine and Passamaquoddy Wild Blueberry Company; Meeting hand rakers from Passamaquoddy and Mi’kmaq Tribes.
  • 2014 – Filming of wild blueberry harvest at Passamaquoddy Wild Blueberry company – Tribe and Centerville camps; Filming of Indian Days Celebration at Sipayik Reservation (Pleasant Point, Maine.)
  • 2015 – Visit to Mi’kmaq Reserve at Elsipogtog,  New Brunswick, Canada and meeting Canadian film producer Brian Francis.
  • 2016 – Canadian and USA crews film blueberry harvest at Passamaquoddy Wild Blueberry Company’s Tribe, Centerville, and Vincent Simon Camps;  Filming of canoe send-off at Indian Township Reservation and the Indian Days  Celebration at Sipayik Reservation.
  • 2017 – Edit commences with Cat Ashworth;  Visit and interviews at Passamaquoddy Wild Blueberry documenting 2017’s cancelled harvest.
  • 2018 – Still photographs of renewed hand raking at Passamaquoddy Wild Blueberry Company; Visit and Interviews at Eskasoni and Elsipogtog Mi’kmaq Reserves in Canada; Continued edit of the film’s rough cut.