Sacred Land Film Project Director Toby McLeod participated in this year’s Run4Salmon, a two-week prayerful journey to restore McCloud River salmon runs and protect indigenous lifeways.
Surrounded by boutique storefronts in the upscale Fourth Street shopping area of Berkeley sits an unassuming 2-acre parking lot. For 5,000 years this was an Ohlone Village Site where two massive shellmounds grew—sites of burial and ceremony.
In 1875, biologist Livingstone Stone collected a sampling of belongings — baskets and ceremonial regalia — from the Winnemem Wintu people who lived along the McCloud River, below Mt. Shasta in northern California.
The Greater Chaco Canyon area is a significant historical, archaeological and sacred site in northwest New Mexico. From the 9th to the 11th century, it was the center of the Pueblo civilization, and was comprised of dense apartment-like structures (pueblos), roads and plazas. The site is considered sacred to multiple Native American tribes and has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987.
The Back Forty Mine is a proposed open pit metallic sulfide mine that would sit 100 feet from the banks of the sacred Menominee River in Lake Township, Michigan. The project is backed by Canadian development company Aquila Resources and if it proceeds, will threaten the water security of the millions who rely on Lake Michigan.
Tiwanaku (Tiahuanacu) is an ancient civic and sacred site consisting of former pyramids and enclosures, gateways and monuments located in western Bolivia near the southeast shore of Lake Titikaka.
Arizona’s sacred Oak Flat is threatened with mining by a multinational corporation.
The Pirá Paraná forms the heart of a large sacred landscape afforded some protection and self-government by the 2,000 indigenous inhabitants. Employing community-driven initiatives has preserved and strengthened traditional knowledge, protected sacred sites, ensured intergenerational cultural transmission, and in the political realm secured indigenous autonomy and rights to administer state resources within Colombia.
Where the life-giving Rio Grande enters the Gulf of Mexico south of Port Isabel, Texas, you might expect to find land sacred to Native Americans, and indeed, the Garcia Pasture has burials, discrete shell working areas, and contact period artifacts of the Esto’k Gna, the Carrizo/Comecrudo Tribe of Texas. Garcia Pasture is considered one of the premier prehistoric archaeological sites in Cameron County by the National Park Service and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Carmichael Coal Mine is a proposed development of six massive open-cut pits, five underground mines, a coal handling and processing plant, and associated infrastructure, in central Queensland, Australia. If developed as proposed, the mine would be among the largest in the world. Not only would the emissions from burning coal from this mine contribute to global climate change, which is already harming the nearby World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef, but the mine would also destroy the ancestral homelands and sacred sites of the Wangan and Jagalingou.