Native youth, part of our Summer 2014 Media and Foodways Internship, film the process of sifting acorn flour.

Tending the Fire
illuminating our world with new and ancestral media

As indigenous peoples we ‘tend to the fire’ of our indigenous lifeways to maintain our cultures in modern contexts. We also work to decolonize ourselves to build resilience for future generations. This work includes expressing cultural sovereignty, and we do this in old and new ways.

OUR VISION

Create spaces and provide resources for producing, preserving & distributing media created by and for Native communities in the Bay Area, California, and worldwide.

Produce video, audio, and multimedia works with Native voices & vision.

Facilitate community media trainings and Native media distribution.

Provide bridges for intertribal and global indigenous knowledge-sharing through digital archives, media collections and repatriation

For too long, Native history, spirituality and identity have been narrated by others. Now, Native voices are being heard on our own terms, addressing the biggest challenges of our time. 

 

DOCUMENTARY PRODUCTION

This short documentary, Seeds of our Ancestors grew out of the poetic explorations of native urban youth as they struggle to overcome trauma caused by colonized/industrial foods and awaken to the healing and nourishment of native foodways from their own traditions and those of others. It was made as a part of our Youth Rising eco-cultural health program in 2015.


In addition to short documentary production and documentation of indigenous teachings, elders, and intergenerational eco-cultural healing processes, we also participate in larger productions, such as the feature film Spectacular Movements, a Bolivian, Venezuelan and US documentary co-produced by The Cultural Conservancy and directed by our Media Director Mateo Hinojosa. This film was released in 2015, and in 2016 is beginning community distribution and screenings.

Spectacular Movements: a journey of memory, identity, and justice.  
Learn more about Spectacular Movements.


The Cultural Conservancy has been involved for over a decade in The Salt Song Trail Project  of the Southern Paiute Nation, working closely Vivienne Jake (Kaibab Paiute) and Matthew Leivas, Sr. (Chemehuevi), Salt Song Project Directors to produce an award-winning documentary, a map of the Salt Song Trail, and song revitalization.


We are honored to have co-produced the Indigenous Forum at Bioneers with the Indigenous Environmental Network, and to have recorded the indigenous leaders present. Here is one video from 2014, exposing the impact of the Bakken oil fields on Fr. Berthold Indian Reservation:


One of early multimedia projects, CIRCLE OF STORIES - video series and interactive web site, features wisdom from elders. It was co-produced with Philomath Films, ITVS, PBS, and Second Story (2002).



INTER-INSTITUTIONAL COLLABORATION

We created the Sacred Land Media Collaborative to share stories of both resistance to the destruction of sacred places and efforts to revitalize traditional cultural practices. These stories inform, inspire, and give strength and hope to others, leading to a healthier and more vibrant world. The Sacred Land Media Collaborative merges our communities and creates new tools for protection of sacred places. These include collaborative film screenings and educational events, designing discussion guides and curricula, and sharing documentary filmmaking skills to better train and support a new generation of indigenous media-makers.


COMMUNITY MEDIA WORKSHOPS

For decades, we have been partnering with indigenous communities, both urban and rural, to collaborate on hands-on media trainings, including documentary production, video post-production, audio production, and audiovisual storytelling in many formats. 

Photo credits: Mateo Hinojosa, Melissa K. Nelson, Nícola Wagenberg