indigenous peoples Archive

  • Ethnobotanist Richard Evans Schultes, one of the most important plant explorers of the 20th century, served as a key inspiration in a recent film called "Embrace of the Serpent." In December 1941, Schultes entered the Amazon to study how indigenous peoples used plants for medicinal, ritual, and practical purposes. After nearly a decade of fieldwork, he made significant discoveries about the sacred hallucinogen ayahuasca. In total, Schultes would collect more than 24,000 species of plants including some 300 species new to Western science.

    “Embrace of the Serpent” Film: Journey of Healing and Ethnobotany

    Ethnobotanist Richard Evans Schultes, one of the most important plant explorers of the 20th century, served as a key inspiration in a recent film called "Embrace of the Serpent." In December 1941, Schultes entered the Amazon to study how indigenous peoples used plants for medicinal, ritual, and practical purposes. After nearly a decade of fieldwork, he made significant discoveries about the sacred hallucinogen ayahuasca. In total, Schultes would collect more than 24,000 species of plants including some 300 species new to Western science.

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  • Berta Cáceres was assassinated by Honduran government-backed death squads on March 3. She fought for indigenous peoples’ power and for control over their own territories. She was not destined to die of old age. She spoke too much truth to power.

    Berta Cáceres: Rebel Guardian of the Rivers, ¡Presente!

    Berta Cáceres was assassinated by Honduran government-backed death squads on March 3. She fought for indigenous peoples’ power and for control over their own territories. She was not destined to die of old age. She spoke too much truth to power.

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  • Postcommodity is a collective of American Indian artists from different backgrounds and mediums, combining to create giant musical instrument installations, video, sound and sculpture. Their Repellent Fence installation floated Scare-Eye Bird Repellent balloons over the border between Arizona and Sonora.

    Postcommodity’s ‘Repellent Fence’ Land Art Spans the U.S. Border

    Postcommodity is a collective of American Indian artists from different backgrounds and mediums, combining to create giant musical instrument installations, video, sound and sculpture. Their Repellent Fence installation floated Scare-Eye Bird Repellent balloons over the border between Arizona and Sonora.

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  • The Kogi People of Colombia, through two separate documentaries, delivered a message of a sustainable interconnection with nature and community as a way to avert climate and ecological destruction.

    Kogi People’s Lesson From the Heart of the Mountain

    The Kogi People of Colombia, through two separate documentaries, delivered a message of a sustainable interconnection with nature and community as a way to avert climate and ecological destruction.

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  • Prehistoric paintings on vertical rock faces in an Amazonian wilderness in Colombia were recently photographed and filmed for western eyes. The pretense of this British filmmaker as the "discoverer" of the paintings is of course ludicrous. The once populous Karijona Tribe most likely painted these masterpieces, and continue to live uncontacted in the vast rainforest, and anthropologists and explorers have studied the region for hundreds of years.

    Colombia: Stunning Indigenous Rock Art from Amazonia

    Prehistoric paintings on vertical rock faces in an Amazonian wilderness in Colombia were recently photographed and filmed for western eyes. The pretense of this British filmmaker as the "discoverer" of the paintings is of course ludicrous. The once populous Karijona Tribe most likely painted these masterpieces, and continue to live uncontacted in the vast rainforest, and anthropologists and explorers have studied the region for hundreds of years.

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  • Jack Eidt of WilderUtopia spoke on the dangerous race for global control by the Chinese through mega-development projects such as the Gran Canal of Nicaragua and the Trans-Amazonian Railway, both with major human rights, ecological, and indigenous sovereignty consequences.

    Jack Eidt on the Nicaraguan Canal and Trans-Amazonian Railway

    Jack Eidt of WilderUtopia spoke on the dangerous race for global control by the Chinese through mega-development projects such as the Gran Canal of Nicaragua and the Trans-Amazonian Railway, both with major human rights, ecological, and indigenous sovereignty consequences.

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  • The amazing bison, revered by native societies, survives despite its continued sacrifice at the demand of the cattle industry. While slaughter continues at the borders of Yellowstone National Park, bison managers consider alternative management policies. Also watch the documentary, "Silencing the Thunder."

    Silencing the Thunder: Bison Management in Yellowstone

    The amazing bison, revered by native societies, survives despite its continued sacrifice at the demand of the cattle industry. While slaughter continues at the borders of Yellowstone National Park, bison managers consider alternative management policies. Also watch the documentary, "Silencing the Thunder."

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  • Two documentary films chronicle the struggle of the Huichol or Wixárika People to protect their culture and spiritual connection with the ancestors, through the journey to Wirikuta, where peyote grows, now threatened by mining and development interests.

    Peyote Guardians: The Huichol Struggle of Life and Spirit

    Two documentary films chronicle the struggle of the Huichol or Wixárika People to protect their culture and spiritual connection with the ancestors, through the journey to Wirikuta, where peyote grows, now threatened by mining and development interests.

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  • The Nukak People of Colombia have been forced from their homes by illegal armed groups, in the latest attack against the country’s most recently-contacted tribe. Mining, palm oil, cattle ranching and coca threaten the majority of the country's 102 indigenous communities.

    Thirty-Four Colombian Tribes Face Extinction

    The Nukak People of Colombia have been forced from their homes by illegal armed groups, in the latest attack against the country’s most recently-contacted tribe. Mining, palm oil, cattle ranching and coca threaten the majority of the country's 102 indigenous communities.

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  • Northern Shoshone Myth on how the Wolf, father of the native people, defeated the white-man's father “Iron-Man,” documented by Robert Harry Lowie in 1909.

    Shoshone Myth: Wolf Challenges the Euro-American “Iron-Man”

    Northern Shoshone Myth on how the Wolf, father of the native people, defeated the white-man's father “Iron-Man,” documented by Robert Harry Lowie in 1909.

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  • Hear the Buffalo is a heartfelt plea to preserve the last wild bison roaming Yellowstone National Park, their significance in Native American culture, and the ongoing injustices they experience by attempts to manage populations outside the park in Montana.

    Hear the Buffalo – A Film By Gene Bernofsky

    Hear the Buffalo is a heartfelt plea to preserve the last wild bison roaming Yellowstone National Park, their significance in Native American culture, and the ongoing injustices they experience by attempts to manage populations outside the park in Montana.

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  • Art Cisneros is a Chumash elder and firekeeper. The Chumash People are the original native peoples of the central California Coast. Art holds the sacred space for their annual Tomol crossing to Limu on the Channel Islands. Lately, he has undertaken a series of ceremonies focused on healing humanity's relationship with the climate, responding to the ongoing drought and extreme weather, prayers that he shared with the people at the Great March for Climate Action LA Launch on March 1, 2014, in the Port of Los Angeles.

    Chumash Elder Speaks on Healing Humanity and the Climate

    Art Cisneros is a Chumash elder and firekeeper. The Chumash People are the original native peoples of the central California Coast. Art holds the sacred space for their annual Tomol crossing to Limu on the Channel Islands. Lately, he has undertaken a series of ceremonies focused on healing humanity's relationship with the climate, responding to the ongoing drought and extreme weather, prayers that he shared with the people at the Great March for Climate Action LA Launch on March 1, 2014, in the Port of Los Angeles.

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  • Watch the full documentary on the Huichol journey to Wirikuta, where they travel every year to collect peyote. The pilgrimage take place with the intention to return to where life originated and heal oneself and the community.

    Pamparios: A Trip with the Huicholes to Collect Peyote

    Watch the full documentary on the Huichol journey to Wirikuta, where they travel every year to collect peyote. The pilgrimage take place with the intention to return to where life originated and heal oneself and the community.

    Continue Reading...

  • Historically a roadless fishing port with little development nor electricity, Puerto Lempira has transformed into a boom-town, host to drug traffickers, nearby military bases, and oil and gas development. In an effort to overcome this adversity, we participated in a blessing for the people and their land and culture in transition, directed by a local Miskitu sukya, or healer, and members of the community.

    Blessing for La Moskitia, A Culture and Land in Transition

    Historically a roadless fishing port with little development nor electricity, Puerto Lempira has transformed into a boom-town, host to drug traffickers, nearby military bases, and oil and gas development. In an effort to overcome this adversity, we participated in a blessing for the people and their land and culture in transition, directed by a local Miskitu sukya, or healer, and members of the community.

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  • In traditional indigenous societies, land means life. Following is a documentary on the struggle of two Western Shoshone elders against mining threats to their ancestral lands from the United States in Crescent City, Nevada.

    Western Shoshone: Our Land, Our Life

    In traditional indigenous societies, land means life. Following is a documentary on the struggle of two Western Shoshone elders against mining threats to their ancestral lands from the United States in Crescent City, Nevada.

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  • On a recent trip to the Kruta River near Cape Gracias a Dios on the Honduran Caribbean and the Nicaraguan Border, life without roads and little electricity proceeds slowly, detached from the world at large. As sea levels rise, already economically-marginalized coastal villages in the mangrove swamps are slowly being inundated by the rising tides.

    Miskitu Coast of Honduras: Village Life in Tide-Flooded Kruta

    On a recent trip to the Kruta River near Cape Gracias a Dios on the Honduran Caribbean and the Nicaraguan Border, life without roads and little electricity proceeds slowly, detached from the world at large. As sea levels rise, already economically-marginalized coastal villages in the mangrove swamps are slowly being inundated by the rising tides.

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  • Documentary film on indigenous communities in Chubut province in Patagonia, Argentina, their struggle over land rights and the threats from mining its mineral wealth, cutting its trees and development by other multinational interests.

    Argentina: The Second Conquest of Patagonia’s Indigenous

    Documentary film on indigenous communities in Chubut province in Patagonia, Argentina, their struggle over land rights and the threats from mining its mineral wealth, cutting its trees and development by other multinational interests.

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  • Idle No More Los Angeles offered drumming, prayer, poetry, and healing at the September 3rd protest at the downtown Pacific Oil Conference and Trade Show. Called “The Western Summit” for petroleum marketers, around 50 people demonstrated peacefully, holding down the corner of a busy thoroughfare of LA Live! for three hours, in the shadow of the towering new Marriott-Ritz Carlton.

    Idle No More LA: Poetry and Prayer at Petroleum Conference

    Idle No More Los Angeles offered drumming, prayer, poetry, and healing at the September 3rd protest at the downtown Pacific Oil Conference and Trade Show. Called “The Western Summit” for petroleum marketers, around 50 people demonstrated peacefully, holding down the corner of a busy thoroughfare of LA Live! for three hours, in the shadow of the towering new Marriott-Ritz Carlton.

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  • Chief Oren Lyons, distinguished member of the United Nations Global Forum of Spiritual and Parliamentary Leaders on Human Survival, lectures on what happened to the millions of indigenous people who lived in North and South America when they were "discovered" and the past and present challenges for the Peacemakers, recently featured on KPFK's "American Indian Airwaves." Listen to the first part of the speech below. We also included a short talk from the Sacred Land Film Project.

    Oren Lyons: On the Unity of the Earth

    Chief Oren Lyons, distinguished member of the United Nations Global Forum of Spiritual and Parliamentary Leaders on Human Survival, lectures on what happened to the millions of indigenous people who lived in North and South America when they were "discovered" and the past and present challenges for the Peacemakers, recently featured on KPFK's "American Indian Airwaves." Listen to the first part of the speech below. We also included a short talk from the Sacred Land Film Project.

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  • Baja California, despite proximity to the US and recent rampant growth, remains a wild and untamed coastal desert. Behind the charming pueblitos and peaceful resorts lies a varied history where conquest and development have moved both slow and fast. Following a recent trip to the Gulf of California town of Loreto, this first in a series of articles attempts to define what makes the place special, as well as what the future holds for this (mostly) hidden resort region.

    Baja California: An “Earthly Paradise” in the Desert

    Baja California, despite proximity to the US and recent rampant growth, remains a wild and untamed coastal desert. Behind the charming pueblitos and peaceful resorts lies a varied history where conquest and development have moved both slow and fast. Following a recent trip to the Gulf of California town of Loreto, this first in a series of articles attempts to define what makes the place special, as well as what the future holds for this (mostly) hidden resort region.

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  • Idle No More has awakened indigenous voices from all over North America, blockading highways and border crossings, flash-mobbing in shopping malls, facing arrest and imprisonment. At issue are sovereignty and treaty rights, dancing and demonstrating for Mother Earth: for the protection of the air, the water, and the land, motivating native peoples out of their idleness and into the streets.

    Idle No More: Round Dance for Mother Earth

    Idle No More has awakened indigenous voices from all over North America, blockading highways and border crossings, flash-mobbing in shopping malls, facing arrest and imprisonment. At issue are sovereignty and treaty rights, dancing and demonstrating for Mother Earth: for the protection of the air, the water, and the land, motivating native peoples out of their idleness and into the streets.

    Continue Reading...

  • Ikland recounts a quest to re-connect with the Ik people. For producer Cevin Soling, they represented the last outpost of imagination in a world devoid of myth. Soling and his crew risked their lives by traveling through war-ravaged northern Uganda to reach them. Their experience was alien and surreal in ways only Jonathan Swift might have imagined...

    Overcoming Cultural Colonialism: Journey to Understand “Ikland”

    Ikland recounts a quest to re-connect with the Ik people. For producer Cevin Soling, they represented the last outpost of imagination in a world devoid of myth. Soling and his crew risked their lives by traveling through war-ravaged northern Uganda to reach them. Their experience was alien and surreal in ways only Jonathan Swift might have imagined...

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  • The Kallawaya cosmovision is based upon thousands of years of experiential knowledge about their environment and shared among many other communities across the High Andes. At the center of the cosmovision is the notion that humanity must live in harmony with the environment. Illness is the result of a spiritual dissonance caused by some sort disconnect between a person and his or her environment. One of the main tenets of the Kallawaya cosmovision is an ethic of reciprocity that is applied equally to people, communities, and the environment.

    Bolivia: Global Warming Endangers Kallawaya Healers

    The Kallawaya cosmovision is based upon thousands of years of experiential knowledge about their environment and shared among many other communities across the High Andes. At the center of the cosmovision is the notion that humanity must live in harmony with the environment. Illness is the result of a spiritual dissonance caused by some sort disconnect between a person and his or her environment. One of the main tenets of the Kallawaya cosmovision is an ethic of reciprocity that is applied equally to people, communities, and the environment.

    Continue Reading...

  • Groups of Kumeyaay People live in the isolated canyons of the Tijuana River watershed, high in the Baja California peninsula. They harvest acorns and pine nuts, hunt rattlesnake and small animals, collect grasses to weave baskets. They allow a glimpse of what life in Southern California before the Spanish arrived was like.

    Kumeyaay People: Traditions Survive in Baja California

    Groups of Kumeyaay People live in the isolated canyons of the Tijuana River watershed, high in the Baja California peninsula. They harvest acorns and pine nuts, hunt rattlesnake and small animals, collect grasses to weave baskets. They allow a glimpse of what life in Southern California before the Spanish arrived was like.

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  • The documentary "Heart of Sky, Heart of Earth" presents an alternative worldview to industrial capitalism consuming the earth, following six young Maya into their daily and ceremonial life, revealing their determination to resist the destruction of their culture and environment.

    Stories of a Maya Rebirth: Heart of Sky, Heart of Earth

    The documentary "Heart of Sky, Heart of Earth" presents an alternative worldview to industrial capitalism consuming the earth, following six young Maya into their daily and ceremonial life, revealing their determination to resist the destruction of their culture and environment.

    Continue Reading...