Standing on Sacred Ground

March 1, 2014

1:00 p.m. Pilgrims and Tourists

3:45 p.m. Profit and Loss

March 2, 2014

11:00 a.m—Fire and Ice

2:00 p.m.—Islands of Sanctuary

Each screening followed by Q&A with Toby McLeod

Free and open to the public

Sacred Ground

A Four Film Series 

Ancient wisdom and modern courage: around the world, eight threatened cultures protect their sacred lands for future generations.

Indigenous communities around the world and in the US resist threats to their sacred places, the original protected lands, in a growing movement to defend human rights and restore the environment. In this four-part documentary series, native people share ecological wisdom and spiritual reverence while battling a utilitarian view of land––and government megaprojects, consumer culture, competing religions, resource extraction, and climate change. Narrated by Graham Greene (Oneida), with the voices of Tantoo Cardinal (Metis), Winona LaDuke (Anishinaabe), Q’orianka Kilcher (Quechua), Rhoda Roberts (Bundjalung) and Luana Busby-Neff (Hawai‘i), exposes threats to native peoples’ health, livelihood and cultural survival.

Episode 1: Pilgrims and Tourists
Russian shamans and a northern California tribe both confront massive government projects—and find common ground.

Around the world, indigenous communities stand in the way of government megaprojects. In the Russian Republic of Altai, a pristine mountain region in southern Siberia, traditional native people create their own mountain parks to rein in tourism, and resist state-run energy giant Gazprom’s plans to run a pipeline to China through a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In California, Winnemem Wintu girls grind herbs on a medicine rock as elders protest U.S. government plans to enlarge Shasta Dam, which would forever submerge this touchstone of the tribe. Winona LaDuke (Anishinaabe), Oren Lyons (Onondaga), Satish Kumar and Barry Lopez provide insights on a growing global indigenous movement for human rights and environmental protection. Narrated by Graham Greene (Oneida), with storyteller Tantoo Cardinal (Métis).

Episode 2: Profit and Loss
From Papua New Guinea to the tar sands of Alberta, Canada, native people fight the loss of land, water and health to mining and oil industries.

From New Guinean rainforests to Canada’s tar sands, Profit and Loss exposes industrial threats to native peoples’ health, livelihood and cultural survival. In Papua New Guinea, a nickel mine that violently relocated villagers to taboo land is building a new pipeline and refinery, and dumping mining waste into the sea. In Alberta, First Nations people suffer from rare cancers as their traditional hunting grounds are stripmined to unearth the world’s third-largest oil reserve. Rare verité scenes of tribal life and intimate interviews allow indigenous people to tell their own stories—and confront us with the ethical consequences of our culture of consumption. Narrated by Graham Greene (Oneida).

Episode 3: Fire and Ice
From the Gamo Highlands of Ethiopia to the Andes of Peru, indigenous communities protect their sacred lands from development, competing religions and climate change.

Fire and Ice explores two mountain cultures fighting to protect their cultural and ecological heritage with the help of modern science. In the Gamo Highlands of Ethiopia, spiritual traditions that long protected trees, meadows and mountains are under attack by evangelical Christians. During a New Years bridal ceremony, tensions erupt into a riot. In the Peruvian Andes, Q’eros potato farmers face an invisible foe: global warming that is melting the glaciers, their only water source. They still make their annual pilgrimage to pray for abundance, and they are also building the Parque de la Papa (Potato Park), a community research farm to adapt indigenous agriculture to the changing climate. Stunning landscapes and vivid ritual scenes offer rare insight into little-seen, oft-misunderstood cultures. Narrated by Graham Greene (Oneida), with storytelling by Q’orianka Kilcher.

Episode 4: Islands of Sanctuary
Aboriginal Australians and Native Hawaiians reclaim land and resist the erosion of culture and the environment.

Native Hawaiians and Aboriginal Australians resist threats to their sacred lands in a growing international movement to defend human rights and protect the environment. In Australia’s Northern Territory, Aboriginal clans maintain Indigenous Protected Areas and resist the destructive effects of a mining boom. In Hawai‘i, indigenous ecological and spiritual practices are used to restore the island of Kaho‘olawe after 50 years of military use as a weapons testing range. Featuring Patrick Dobson (Yawuru), Davianna McGregor (Hawaiian), Winona LaDuke (Anishinaabe), Oren Lyons (Onondaga), philosopher Satish Kumar and author Barry Lopez. Narrated by Graham Greene (Oneida), with storytelling by Rhoda Roberts (Bundjalung) and Luana Busby-Neff (Hawaiian).

Learn more at the films' website.

Information on directions and parking.