December 1, 2001
Greetings. Something in the world has shifted since September 11, 2001. Seismic shift. Shift in consciousness. Do we have the strength to see this wave of destruction as a wave of renewal?
Where do we turn for wisdom?
The filmmaker Toby McLeod in his extraordinary film, In the Light of Reverence, offers us clues by taking us into the heart of three stories where native people—the Lakota, the Hopi, and the Wintu—stand their ground in the center of their homelands which are at the center of controversy. We hear the voices of elders remind us of the enduring grace of Earth as they struggle to maintain the integrity of their communities from Devils Tower to the Hopi Mesas to Mount Shasta.
“The most important thing is nature. Nature takes care of your mind and heart and soul,” says Florence Jones, as she fights ski development on the flanks of Mount Shasta.
To remember. To stand together in these tender and uncertain days. To support brave and courageous actions. To foster community in the name of these sacred lands.
It is for these reasons, I encourage you to find a way to see and support this powerful film. In the Light of Reverence bears witness to that which endures and gives us courage to speak on behalf of the wildlands that sustain us. Most importantly, we can honor and support the struggle of Indian people as they try to maintain their way of life that acknowledges the world as holy and whole, at once.
Toby McLeod is bringing this film to communities all over America, creating opportunities for discussion with tribal leaders who are sharing their vision of sustainability with non-Indian people. We are invited to understand what they have always known: We cannot survive the destruction of the land.
I urge you to see this film and support its transformative vision. It is a vision of hope, courage, and restoration.
Terry Tempest Williams