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July 7, 2011
Mapping Sacred Sites
Posted by: Toby McLeod

Maps tell stories, and control of the printing press allowed colonial powers to tell their own stories for centuries. A Native American tribe that was literally taken off the map in California’s history books — and is still unrecognized by the U.S. government — is using technology to put themselves back on the map.

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April 26, 2011
Barry Lopez on Storytelling
Posted by: Toby McLeod

One of our major challenges with the Losing Sacred Ground series is how to weave eight stories from around the world together? How do we create a coherent context for the complex sacred land struggles we are documenting? And how do we get PBS viewers to care?

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February 6, 2011
Guardians of the River
Posted by: Jennifer Huang

Canoes are a lifeline in Bosmun, the village depicted in this clip: the only road into town is the river. The village spent days making the ceremonial canoe in this clip, and it was a community effort. We hope this video will impart some of the spirit of Papua New Guinea — the color, energy and

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August 20, 2009
In the Light of Reverence – Devils Tower
Posted by: Quinn Costello
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August 20, 2009
In the Light of Reverence – Filmmaker Interview
Posted by: Quinn Costello
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August 20, 2009
In the Light of Reverence Preview
Posted by: Quinn Costello
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August 18, 2009
In the Light of Reverence – Peabody Coal
Posted by: Quinn Costello
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July 6, 2009
Standing on Sacred Ground
Posted by: Quinn Costello
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The 2005 World Wildlife Fund report, Beyond Belief, concluded: “Sacred sites are the oldest method of habitat protection on the planet.” Yet these biological and cultural treasures are under assault — as are the people who have been safeguarding them for millennia. Building on the success of our award-winning PBS documentary In the Light of [...]

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June 17, 2009
Four Corners
Posted by: Quinn Costello
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Four Corners documents the cultural and ecological impacts of coal stripmining, uranium mining and oil shale development in Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona – homeland of the Hopi and Navajo. It examines Peabody Coal Company’s massive Black Mesa stripmine and the history of uranium mining on the Colorado Plateau, including the 1979 Church Rock [...]

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June 16, 2009
Sacred Site in Tibet Protected From Further Mining
Posted by: Toby McLeod
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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 13, 2009
Poison in the Rockies
Posted by: Quinn Costello
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Poison in the Rockies is an update of Downwind/ Downstream for the PBS science show NOVA, including 23 minutes of new material. It details how thousands of abandoned mines contaminate water by leaching heavy metals into rivers and streams, a problem that is compounded by acid rain and snow. The film highlights the EPA Superfund [...]

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June 1, 2009
Glen Canyon Damn
Posted by: Quinn Costello
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The birth of the radical environmental movement is captured in this short, poetic film on the legendary direct action at Glen Canyon Dam in March of 1981. The film contains one of the only interviews ever given by the late, great author Edward Abbey along with his classic speech from the back of a pick-up [...]

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May 6, 2009
Melting Away in the Andes
Posted by: Quinn Costello
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In the misty mountains of the Vilcanota Cordillera, southeast of Cusco, on the steep slopes of the Andes, the Q’eros grow potatoes, herd alpaca, chew coca and pray to the mountain deities they call Apus. On my recent research trip to the Q’eros village of Qochamoqo, I was accompanied by Milton Gamarra, the Potato Repatriation [...]

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April 22, 2009
War Dance at Shasta Dam
Posted by: Quinn Costello
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April 4, 2009
The Fire in Dorbo Meadow
Posted by: Quinn Costello
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Before dawn on the fourth and final day of the Mascal Ceremony in Ethiopia’s Gamo Highlands, a fire is lit in a sacred grove and elders gather to chant in the new year. Fundamentalist Protestants disrupted the closing ceremonies (see April 4 blog entry for details), as captured in this four-minute video clip.

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August 30, 2008
Satish Kumar on Climate Change
Posted by: Quinn Costello

In April, I went to New York’s American Museum of Natural History to show a work-in-progress film on Russia’s Altai Republic at a conference on cultural and biological diversity. I met Satish Kumar, who has edited the magazine, Resurgence, for 35 years. Satish said to me, “Please be careful with the subject of sacred sites. [...]

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April 30, 2008
A Long Journey to Justice
Posted by: Quinn Costello

In their continuing struggle to regain federal recognition as a tribe, the Winnemem Wintu have been lobbying for a state resolution sponsored by Assemblyman Jared Huffman of Marin. Assembly Joint Resolution 39 (AJR 39) urges the federal government to investigate the Winnemem’s history and treaty claims and encourages the U.S. Congress to restore federal recognition [...]

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November 18, 2007
The Spring at Panther Meadows
Posted by: Quinn Costello

Caleen Sisk-Franco, Spiritual Leader and Tribal Chief of the Winnemem Wintu, discovered last week that the healing spring on Mt. Shasta that is the birthplace of both the Winnemem people and their ancestral river had dried up. Everyone asked why — Global warming? Cremation ashes that have been dumped in the spring by New Age [...]

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November 5, 2007
Song for the Rainbow Serpent
Posted by: Quinn Costello

Three percent of the world’s zinc lies beneath the serpentine riverbed of northern Australia’s McArthur River — and the zinc will soon be headed to China’s steel mills. For Aboriginal Australians, the entire river is respected as the Dreamtime pathway of the Rainbow Serpent, one of the most important of the ancestor spirits who formed [...]

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November 5, 2007
Song for the Rainbow Serpent
Posted by: Toby McLeod

Three percent of the world’s zinc lies beneath the serpentine riverbed of northern Australia’s McArthur River — and the zinc will soon be headed to China’s steel mills. For Aboriginal Australians, the entire river is respected as the Dreamtime pathway of the Rainbow Serpent, one of the most important of the ancestor spirits who formed [...]

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September 14, 2007
The Road to Darwin
Posted by: Quinn Costello
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With the Australian Federal Supreme Court preparing to hear a case on the legality of the McArthur River mine expansion and river diversion plan, a group of 50 men, women and children boarded a bus in Boroloola and traveled nearly 1000 kilometers to Darwin, capital of the Northern Territory. They went to observe the court [...]

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September 1, 2007
Garma Festival
Posted by: Quinn Costello

Every August, two thousand people visit northern Australia’s Gove Peninsula in Arnhem Land to attend the Garma Festival, an international celebration of the Aboriginal culture that is still strong around Yirkalla. In August, we travelled to Garma to interview indigenous leaders and film the dances that take place at sunset every evening. The evening dance [...]

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July 7, 2007
Pilgrimage to a Sacred Mountain
Posted by: Quinn Costello
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In June 2007 our film crew was invited to make a pilgrimage to a sacred mountain in the Ooch Enmek Nature Park in the Altai Republic of Russia. Before starting the three-day journey, the park’s founder, Danil Mamyev, was blessed by the local shaman, Arzhan, who offered milk to the fire. Danil then ascended the [...]

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