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Antarctica: A Year on Ice

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2014 Films

Standing on Sacred Ground

Directed by: Christopher McLeod
Venue: National Museum of the American Indian

Standing on Sacred Ground

Living in the Anthropocene: The Age of Humans

This four-episode series, directed by Christopher McLeod, explores how the health of our global environment can be sustained through respectful understanding of the sacred lands and traditions of native peoples across the globe.

Introduced by filmmaker Christopher McLeod.

12:00 noon

PILGRIMS AND TOURISTS (USA, 2013, 57 min.) Around the world, indigenous communities stand in the way of government megaprojects. In the Russian Republic of Altai, traditional native people create their own mountain parks to rein in tourism and resist a gas pipeline that would cut through a World Heritage Site. In northern California, Winnemem Wintu girls grind herbs on a sacred medicine rock, as elders protest U.S. government plans to enlarge one of the West’s biggest dams and forever submerge this touchstone of a tribe.

1:30 p.m.

PROFIT AND LOSS (USA, 2013, 57 min.) From Papua New Guinea’s rainforests to Canada’s tar sands, this film exposes industrial threats to native peoples’ health, livelihood and cultural survival. In Papua New Guinea, a Chinese government-owned nickel mine has violently relocated villagers to a taboo sacred mountain, built a new pipeline and refinery on contested clan land and is dumping mining waste into the sea. In Alberta, First Nations people suffer from rare cancers as their traditional hunting grounds are strip-mined to unearth the world’s third-largest oil reserve. Indigenous people tell their own stories— and confront us with the ethical consequences of our culture of consumption.

3:00 p.m.

FIRE AND ICE (USA, 2013, 57 min.) Washington, D.C. Premiere From Ethiopia to Peru, indigenous customs protect biodiversity on sacred lands under pressure from religious conflicts and climate change. In the Gamo Highlands of Ethiopia, scientists confirm the benefits of traditional stewardship even as elders witness the decline of spiritual practices that have long protected trees, meadows and mountains. Tensions with evangelical Christians over a sacred meadow erupt into a riot. In the Peruvian Andes, the Q’eros, on a pilgrimage to a revered glacier, are driven from their ritual site by intolerant Catholics. Q’eros potato farmers face a more ominous foe: global warming is melting glaciers, their water source. Andes farmers, scientists and visiting Ethiopians struggle to adapt indigenous agriculture to the changing climate.

4:30 p.m.

ISLANDS OF SANCTUARY (USA, 2013, 57 min.) Washington, D.C. Premiere Native Hawaiians and Aboriginal Australians resist threats to their sacred places in a growing international movement to defend human rights and protect the environment. In Australia’s Northern Territory, Aboriginal clans maintain Indigenous protected areas and resist the destructive effects of a mining boom. In Hawai`i, indigenous ecological and spiritual practices are used to restore the sacred island of Kaho`olawe after 50 years of military use as a bombing range.

Discussion with Christopher McLeod and Winona LaDuke follows screenings.

Ticket/Reservation Info:

FREE. No reservations required.

National Museum of the American Indian
Fourth St. & Jefferson Dr., SW
(Metro: L’Enfant Plaza)

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