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June 13, 2012
Standing On Sacred Ground Screenings a Success
Posted by: Miriam Frank

In May, SLFP screened segments of the forthcoming Standing on Sacred Ground film series at the U.N. Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York and the annual conference and film festival of the International Funders for Indigenous Peoples.

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February 27, 2012
Tribe & Sacred Mountain in India Face Renewed Mining Threats
Posted by: Amberly Polidor
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Nearly two years after the Dongria Kondh tribe in the Indian state of Orissa won a historic victory to halt an open-pit bauxite mining project on its sacred lands, both tribe and land are facing renewed threats.

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January 26, 2012
Tibetan Village Stops Mining on Sacred Mountain
Posted by: Amberly Polidor

In the face of threats and violence from a Chinese mining company and local authorities, a small village’s year-long effort to stop a gold mining project on the slopes of one of Tibet’s holiest mountains finally paid off, perhaps with a little help from the mountain.

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August 10, 2011
Researchers Map World’s Sacred Forests
Posted by: Amberly Polidor

About 15 percent of the world’s surface, much of it forest, is “sacred land,” according to a team of Oxford University scientists working on a project to scientifically measure the coverage of religious and sacred land around the globe and assess its biodiversity and land-use values.

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March 20, 2011
Voices From the Altai
Posted by: Toby McLeod
Posted in: ,

When we filmed in the spectacular Altai Republic of Russia in 2007, U.K. native Joanna Dobson kindly helped us with translation. Joanna is fluent in Russian and has moved to the Altai to work on various projects to help preserve traditional culture and protect sacred sites. Joanna reports on her work via a great website [...]

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February 8, 2011
Borneo Penan File Suit Against Timber Giant
Posted by: Amberly Polidor

A community of the Penan people, a seminomadic group in the rainforests of Borneo who have been struggling for decades to save their lands and livelihood from timber harvesting and other incursions, have recently brought their fight to a Malaysian court.

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August 31, 2010
India Halts Controversial Mine on Tribe’s Sacred Lands
Posted by: Marlo McKenzie

In a major victory for indigenous land rights, India’s environment minster on Aug. 24 struck down a controversial mining project in eastern Orissa state that would have threatened the survival of the 8,000-member Dongria Kondh tribe.

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May 31, 2010
Tibetans Protest Mining on Sacred Mountains
Posted by: Amberly Polidor
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Chinese police in Markham County in eastern Tibet have reportedly cracked down on protesters attempting to block the resumption of mining operations on their sacred mountains.

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May 17, 2010
New Biodiversity Report is a “Wake-up Call for Humanity”
Posted by: Amberly Polidor

A major new assessment of the current state of biodiversity warns that unless urgent action is taken, the natural systems that support humankind are at risk of collapse.

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February 12, 2010
U.N. Issues First-Ever “State of the World’s Indigenous Peoples” Report
Posted by: Marlo McKenzie

In January, the U.N. released its first-ever report on the “State of the World’s Indigenous Peoples,” which presents a global view of the current situation of indigenous peoples, examining poverty and well-being, culture, education, health, human rights, environment and emerging issues.

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January 18, 2010
New Sacred Site Reports Feature Borneo, China and Mongolia
Posted by: Amberly Polidor

Monks in China and Mongolia are taking a spritual approach in confronting modern threats to Buddhist and Daoist sacred mountains, while in Malaysian Borneo, one of the world’s last nomadic tribes fights to save its traditional rainforest lands from logging, hydropower and oil palm plantations.

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September 15, 2009
Sacred Site Guardians Meet in the Altai
Posted by: Toby McLeod

In July, we traveled for the second time to Russia’s Altai Republic, this time to film a meeting of 25 sacred site guardians from all over Central Asia who gathered to discuss strategies for protecting cultural and biological diversity locally and globally. At the invitation of the Foundation for Sustainable Development of Altai (FSDA), delegations [...]

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September 4, 2009
Read Our Latest Sacred Site Reports
Posted by: Amberly Polidor

Over the past month we published one new and three fully updated sacred site reports—featuring locations in the Himalaya, California and Nevada—which we invite you read

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August 2, 2009
Read Our Latest Sacred Site Reports
Posted by: Amberly Polidor

In June and July, we published one updated and two new sacred site reports—featuring locations in Malaysia, Bulgaria and Arizona—which we invite you read

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June 16, 2009
Sacred Site in Tibet Protected From Further Mining
Posted by: Toby McLeod
Posted in: ,

A protest in Tibet that has been sustained for several months has ended with a Chinese firm agreeing not to develop a gold mine at a sacred site. The protest was sparked when local authorities approved plans by Chinese mining and lumbering firm Zhongkai Co. to excavate the area. Hundreds of Tibetans protested the mine’s [...]

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June 4, 2009
Read Our Latest Sacred Site Reports
Posted by: Amberly Polidor

Over the past month, we’ve published three new sacred site reports—featuring locations in Japan, Colombia and Afghanistan—which we invite you read

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October 27, 2008
Altai Pipeline on Hold
Posted by: Toby McLeod
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After several years of negotiations, Russia and China have reportedly agreed to postpone a deal on the Altai pipeline until 2030. The proposed pipeline would have delivered natural gas from western Siberia to northern China and traversed the Ukok Plateau in the Golden Mountains of Altai, one of Russia’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The Sacred [...]

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June 24, 2007
Timeless Journey
Posted by: Toby McLeod

For twenty-three days I saw no newspapers, no clocks, no calendars, no mirrors. Time and identity melted into the landscape of the Altai: racing clouds and falling rain, a new and growing moon, shamans’ fires sputtering under spoonfuls of cow’s milk and crackling to devour dry cedar. I was transfixed by the rippling green mountains [...]

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June 21, 2007
In the Sacred Spring
Posted by: Toby McLeod

Maya Erlenbaeva is mapping sacred sites for the Foundation for Sustainable Development of Altai. She has spent the last two years meeting with elders and visiting sacred places around Kosh Agach and recording detailed information and locations on maps. Maya’s colleague, Chagat Almashev, explained: “Russians don’t recognize spiritual places, they’re intangible. So our strategy is [...]

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June 20, 2007
Sweet Maria
Posted by: Toby McLeod

When we met the shaman Maria Amanchina in Kosh Agach she asked us about our dreams. She wanted to know where we had been and what we had felt as we traveled through the Altai. I told her that I had two dreams while camping on Uch Enmek. In one dream, I saw a bird [...]

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June 18, 2007
Stealing Chui Oozy
Posted by: Toby McLeod
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There is a big international black market for rock art – petroglyphs and cliff paintings – ancient sacred images that depict traditional knowledge rooted in the landscape. In southern Utah, people are using battery-powered saws to cut sandstone slabs off cliffs, which end up hanging in living rooms in New York and Tokyo. I’ve been [...]

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June 15, 2007
Stormy Weather
Posted by: Ashley Tindall

We made it out of Kosh-Agach and up to the Ukok Nature Park’s camp at the sacred radon springs, cold water baths that Maria told us would reinvigorate us (if not make us glow a bit for the next 200 years!)  As soon as we arrived a massive snow storm headed our way. We quickly [...]

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June 14, 2007
The Deadwood of Russia
Posted by: Ashley Tindall

Two days ago we repacked all our gear and selves back into our two minivans and made our way along the Chuisky Tract (the only “highway” through the Altai). This two-lane road was once a part of the Silk Road and still functions as the main conduit for anything moving from Russia, China and Mongolia [...]

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June 12, 2007
Giving Props…
Posted by: Ashley Tindall

…to our incredible crew!  After days of rain, Will and Andy — ever the über-professionals — take a break from their “rest” day to dry out the equipment .

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June 11, 2007
Karakol Valley Respite
Posted by: Ashley Tindall

We’re a week into our shoot and are exhausted but elated. We are back in residence at the Uch Enmek Nature Park yurts having just returned from three days climbing through the wet alpine wilderness to Uch Enmek Mountain with Danil (a phenomenal guide who manages to maintain his humor while we interview him in [...]

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June 9, 2007
Pilgrimage to Uch Enmek
Posted by: Toby McLeod

After three days and two nights of slogging through rain, mud and sleet with Danil Mamyev, our indefatigable guide and inspiration, we emerge from the Siberian forest and toe-step up the slick moraine to where Danil has lit a fire and begun to make his offering to the mountain. Though we are soaked to the [...]

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June 7, 2007
Meeting Danil
Posted by: Ashley Tindall

We arrived last night to the cozy campground at Uch Enmek Nature Park, a serene round of traditional gers (a type of large yurt) at the edge of the sacred Karakol Valley. We are here to find out how Altaians protect this landscape, which has been an important burial ground for millenia (as evidenced by [...]

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June 6, 2007
The Hills are Alive…
Posted by: Ashley Tindall

Two days ago we left the grim streets of industrial Barnaul for Gorno-Altaisk, the capital city of the Altai Republic. Arriving after a five hour drive in a speeding minivan, our beleaguered bodies crammed in among the sharp corners of our equipment, our eyes delighted at the sight of Gorno’s verdant hills and (almost) quaint [...]

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June 5, 2007
The Ukok Princess
Posted by: Toby McLeod

We met today with Rima Yerkinova, the director of the Altai Museum, and interviewed her (for four hours!) about the 1993 unearthing of a 2,500 year-old burial on the Ukok Plateau by Russian archaeologists. A young woman’s body, frozen in permafrost, was removed from an elaborate grave and some Altaian people still feel that the [...]

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June 2, 2007
Production Underway!
Posted by: Ashley Tindall

Today, we finally put to use the 700 lbs. of equipment that we’ve hauled halfway around the world. Our first interview of Losing Sacred Ground was with Mikhail Shishin, a pensive professor of cultural anthropology and philosophy in Barnaul. He also is the committed leader of a determined group of Russians and Altaians that have [...]

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June 1, 2007
From Russia With Love
Posted by: Ashley Tindall

Here’s the Sacred Land Film Project crew, looking jet-lagged yet spry, in Moscow’s Red Square. From left to right, we are Will Parrinello (camera), Toby McLeod (director/producer), Andy Black (sound and camera) and Ashley Tindall (associate producer). After a 14 hour flight from San Francisco through Atlanta and what will be a 12-hour layover (and [...]

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