Indigenous communities around the world resist threats to their sacred places—the original protected lands—in a growing movement to defend human rights and restore the environment.
There’s a story that has has played out all over the world. First come the missionaries doing good. Indigenous communities split apart and connections to land, ancestors and spirits of place weaken—not everywhere, but almost everywhere.
Hopi elder Thomas Banyacya (1909-1999) was selected as spokesman for traditional leaders in 1948, after atom bombs triggered Hopi awareness that the prophecized “gourd full of ashes” had finally appeared. We worked with Thomas from 1977 through 1999 and were fortunate to film him at Chaco Canyon, in Washington DC, and at sacred migration sites around the Four Corners area. His humor, good spirit and wisdom will be long remembered.
Filming a Chinese-government-owned mine in Papua New Guinea in 2010 led to some hair-raising moments as we were filming “Profit and Loss” when we were detained at gunpoint in a makeshift police station inside a shipping container…
Lisjan Ohlone leader Corrina Gould and her allies pray at the West Berkeley Shellmound and Village Site every year on the Spring Equinox. This year they went to protect the historic site from a new threat.