Native Film Festival

Climate and Native Wisdom

Larry w camera Barrow, AK

Lawrence Johnson on the Arctic Ocean

On Saturday, April 15th, Wisdom of the Elders, Inc. teamed up with Portland Art Museum/NW Film Center to present an afternoon of films tracking climate change and how it is affecting Native First Foods.  Lawrence Johnson has been working on these films since 2012. Wisdom’s executive director Rose High Bear and I traveled to Barrow and Anchorage, Alaska, to record elders and wisdom keepers about whaling, hunting and gathering practices. On Alaska’s coastline, villages are literally being washed into the sea because the shore-ice that normally protects the coast from erosion due to fall storms arrives later in the season.  We made two 30-minute films: Alaskan Native Wisdom: The People of the Whale and The People of the Caribou.

(l to r) Linda Nicholas-figueroa, Emily Wilson (Inupiat), Rose High Bear (Athabascan)

Linda Nicholas-Figueroa (Coordinator) and Rose High Bear (Executive Director) with Emily Wilson (Inupiat Elder)

We also premiered the two just-completed films we made about Oregon: Native Wisdom: The People pf the Oregon Coast and The People of Oregon’s Interior.  The films will be used to educate in schools and at community listening sessions around the Pacific Northwest. Find out more at Wisdom of the Elders, Inc.

Tom Younker (Coquille) interviewed by Rose Highbear

Coquille Elder Tom Younker interviewed by Rose High Bear overlooking South Slough, near Charleston, Oregon.