We spent the day filming “A Villager’s Tale.” This is the module about women and domestic life during the Fur Trade period at the Village at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site. The module is part of the Fort Vancouver Mobile project, an app for mobile devices that provides historical and interpretative stories about the Fort. “A Villager’s Life” will launch this fall.
Because records about women at the Fort during this period are sparse, I decided to tell the story as a double narrative: The first story is a metanarrative, presented as a series of videos in which Cassie Anderson, Park Ranger and Historic Programs Coordinator at the Fort talks about life in the Village from a historical perspective. The second is a literary interpretation that parallels the historical information; this story centers on a Métisse woman of Cree and French-Canadian heritage who comes to the Village with her fur-trapper husband. Her story unfolds as sound files, a series of photomontage, and maps. Unlike Cassie who is able to identify herself in her metanarrative, the ficitonal character of this story remains nameless and faceless throughout, reflecting the general anonymity of women during this period.
Both stories unfold in four episodes. These episodes center on Home, Family, Food, and Work and highlight major aspects of daily life at the Village. They also provide a narrative flow in that there is rising and falling action related to the hardships of life at the Village. The turning point occurs with a canoe accident involving our character and her children.