Older Than The Crown

Older Than The Crown follows the trial of Sinixt tribal member Rick Desautel who in 2010 was charged with hunting as a non resident and without a proper permit in Canada. Rick harvested an elk on the ancestral land of the Sinixt people in Vallican British Columbia Canada. To the Sinixt, hunting on ancestral land is an aboriginal right gifted to them by Creator. A right that has legally been denied to the Sinixt people since 1956 when the Canadian government unjustly declared them extinct in Canada, despite the nearly 3,000 members existing on the Colville Indian Reservation in Washington State. Now with the Desautel Hunting Case, the Sinixt people have a chance to not only bring light to their unjust extinction by the Canadian government, but also abolish the declaration completely.

    Older Than The Crown, United By Water, The 7th Wave
  • Rick Desautel
    Key Cast
  • Linda Desautel
    Key Cast
    "Shelly Boyd"
  • Derrick LaMere
    United By Water
  • Derrick LaMere
    United By Water, The 7th Wave, Manic Macabre, Red Road
  • Shelly Boyd
  • Erin Joy Nash
    Expedition Reclamation, Fail Forward Fast
  • Ben Alex Dupris
    Sweetheart Dancers, Sister Wolves
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    1 hour
  • Completion Date:
    November 11, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    215,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    Canada, United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Native Spirit Film Festival (2020)

    April 1, 2020
  • Tacoma Film Festival

    April 1, 2022
  • Four Corners Film Festival

    April 1, 2020
  • First Nations Film and Video Festival

    April 1, 2020
  • Asinabka Film Festival

    April 1, 2020
  • Film Premiere (30 Min. Version)

    February 17, 2020
  • Native Spirit Festival (2022)
  • RNCI Red Nation International Film Festival
  • Mesa International Film Festival
    Mesa Arizona
    United States
  • Dumbo Film Festival
    New York
    United States
  • Durango International Film Festival
    Durango Colorado
    United States
    Best Native Cinema
  • Through My Eyes Film Festival
  • Dreamspeakers Film Festival

    April 1, 2023
  • Indigenous Film & Arts Festival
  • Native Visions Film Festival
Distribution Information
  • Vision Maker Media / Corporation for Public Broadcasting
    Sales Agent
    Country: United States
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - DERRICK LAMERE

Derrick LaMere is a Native American Filmmaker (Rocky Boy, Little Shell, Sinixt, Entiat, Wenatchi) from Spokane Washington. He is an award winning documentary filmmaker who's recent films have been an official selection to more than 35 film festivals internationally.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement


Older Than The Crown is not just a documentary about the Desautel Hunting Case. For the Sinixt people, it is a proclamation to the system that has deliberately tried to erase us, to weaken
our connection to our traditional homelands. We are still here.
The term “Older Than The Crown” is a reminder to the politicians that the Sinixt predate any modern government and that our existence is not a myth. Our voices still echo within this valley.
We are the Sinixt of the Arrow Lakes, and we exist beyond your borders.
Telling the story of Rick Desautel and his battle with the Canadian government as it unfolded was an incredible experience that I have yet to fully process. Not only did I get to capture this story as a filmmaker, but I also got to experience this journey as a Sinixt
person. My maternal grandfather was Sinixt and lived through some of the atrocities the Sinixt endured, including their removal off their homelands, the flooding of ceremonial sites by the Grand Coulee Dam and the unjust declaration of extinction in Canada of the Sinixt in 1956. I am sad to say I have lived most of my life knowing more of the tragic history of our Sinixt people than our traditional history. Making this film was a way for me to better understand our history and heal those wounds of generational trauma. To reclaim that history and that pride in being Sinixt in real time is an experience I won’t soon forget. I hope that this film reflects that spirit and is as inspiring to others on their own path to rediscovery.