Braiding the Sacred - Trenzando lo Sagrado

Braiding the Sacred weaves together the voices of traditional indigenous corn cultivators from cultures of maize. They share wisdom, experiences, stories, resources and seeds.

As our climate changes and natural food is assaulted by GMOs worldwide, indigenous farmers are organizing and planning by creating their own seed banks and exchanges. Maize has for untold generations been the keystone crop for cultures across the Americas, and now it is the food that is bringing together this diverse alliance of resilient communities struggling for food sovereignty. The Braiding the Sacred network seeks to maintain seed diversity, and strengthen the cultural and spiritual aspects of food growth, harvest, and production.

This documentary emerged from the network gatherings throughout 2016, highlighting knowledge-keepers and seed-keepers from the following communities: Onondaga, Mohawk, Seneca, Kawaik (Laguna Pueblo), Tesuque Pueblo, Quechua, Diné (Navajo). Produced by The Cultural Conservancy with support from Threshold Foundation and Alianza Milpa.


Featuring (in order of appearance)

Oren Lyons (Onondaga)

Shpeyiah Swimmer (Kawaik)

Angela Ferguson (Onondaga)

Pete Edwards, Jr. (Seneca)

Mary Arquette (Mohawk)

Clayton Brascoupe (Mohawk)

Rowen White (Mohawk)

Wahleah Johns (Diné)

David Bray (Seneca)

Wendy Bray (Seneca)

Steve McComber (Mohawk)

Roger Cook (Onondaga)

Richie Kettle (Seneca)

Emigdio Ballon (Quechua)

Gailey Morgan (Tesuque)

Louie Hena (Tesuque)

Margaret Brascoupe (Tesuque) 


Direction and Editing

Mateo Hinojosa 


Melissa K. Nelson

Karen Swift

Kaylena Bray

Assistant Editing

Michelle Grace-Steinberg


Original Music & Sound Design

James Whalen


Eli Utne

Mohawk & Ojibwe Seed/Midwife Songs

Rowen White

Special Thanks

Onondaga Nation

Tesuque Pueblo

 Indian Valley Organic Farm & Garden

Braiding the Sacred Organizers

Clayton Brascoupe (Mohawk)

Angela Ferguson (Onondaga)

Keir Johnson (Osage)

Ann-Marie Sayers (Costanoan Ohlone)

Tezozomac (Nahuatlacah)

Lea Zeise (Oneida)


Intertribal Agriculture Council

South Central Farmers Health and Education Fund