The Sacred Land Film Project and The Cultural Conservancy believe indigenous worldviews, ceremonies and spiritually significant landscapes strengthen the earth’s biological and cultural diversity. 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 Cultural Conservancy and the Sacred Land Film Project have a long history of collaboration. Founding Conservancy board member, Kimla McDonald, served as the Film Project’s associate producer in the early nineties. Filmmaker Christopher (Toby) McLeod's twenty-year coverage of the Winnemem Wintu of northern California began with an introduction from Conservancy founder Claire Cummings. Conservancy President Melissa Nelson provided input on the In the Light of Reverence Teacher's Guide and hosted a screening and Sacred Water public forum at San Francisco State University.
Today, our organizations have grown into prominent advocates for biocultural diversity and indigenous rights with a focus on the protection of place-based lifeways. Both groups work with local California Indian communities, Native American nations throughout the hemisphere, and international indigenous groups and communities.
How We Collaborate
- The Guardians of the Waters Program highlights sacred waters and tribal canoe traditions
- The Native Foodways Ethnobotany Program addresses food sovereignty and cultural health
- The Native Media Initiative focuses on the revitalization of endangered languages, stories, and songscapes, and the creation of innovative indigenous media such as our award-winning short documentary The Salt Song Trail.
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.
The Sacred Land Media Collaborative is made possible by the Tamalpais Trust.