“Gathering Together” was produced, directed, shot and edited by James Fortier in 2006 for the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe near Tacoma, WA.
Gathering Together goes behind the scenes to chronicle the story of the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe’s first traditional potlatch in over a century as host of the 2006 Tribal Canoe Journey. As a sort of sequel to his 2004 film “Pulling Together,” Métis-Ojibway filmmaker James Fortier presents the Muckleshoot tribe’s continuing story of cultural renewal through the tribe’s expanding canoe “family”. The new film focuses on their role as host to more then 60 canoe nations from as far away as Alaska and Hawaii, who gathered for the first time on Muckleshoot territory for five days of traditional song, dance, giveaways, ceremonies and feasts. Shot in High Definition, Fortier utilized up to four cameras to capture the unique beauty of Coast Salish canoe culture. What emerges is an intimate portrait of the Muckleshoot tribe grappling with the struggle between modernity and tradition, as they nervously anticipate their formal presentations before this historic gathering of thousands.