At this year’s Wild and Scenic Film Festival a few of my friends decided to buy a virtual viewing session of Inhabitants and it blew minds wide open. It was one of those films that you watch that makes you take a long pause after, thoughts and ideas bubbling up, leading into deep conversation.
In other words, my type of film… (intro from our newsletter which you can subscribe to, free on the sidebar or bottom of this article>>)
“We have been doing this for millennia, no western concept of conservation is that old.”
– Dr. Michael Kotutwa Johnson of the Hopi Tribe and Hopi Farmer – A 200 Generation Farmer
Hold onto that statement for a moment….
This is why films like these call us to dig deeper into the notions that western culture has all the answers. That modern technology like computers and smart phones, modern techniques for farming, animal husbandry and modern fire prevention methods are the only paths forward.
This is why most of this review is not in my words but in the words of the people before us on this land. We are invited to listen and we are challenged to make sure all voices, especially the long time experienced ones, are at the table as we try and solve some big challenges of our times.
The documentary is split into a few sections and a few different topics, with one being something we are all to familiar with, wildfire. Here are some quotes from the movie, most if not all, from indigenous people and the indigenous perspective.
“Humans have excluded fire from this natural system and have created unnatural conditions as a result.” …
“Fighting fire is not a fight you can win” …
“The more prescribed fire we get on the ground in our communities, the safer we are”
In this film the viewer will get an inspiring look into some very real subjects, ranging from Hopi corn grown in the desert sometimes with no rain for over 160 days.
Prescribed fire and how we may need to shift our thoughts from some current ways of thinking on wildfire prevention and forest management in California. Buffalo grazing and how they regenerate the land and thrive in ways domesticated cows cannot, and so much more.
“We know how to adapt and respond to a changing environment. It’s time to learn from each other… and incorporate the ways of the people who were on the land before you.”
This film for my friends and I hit deep into the core of our thinking, asking us to listen to our elders, listen to those with long time generational experience and most of all be humble. It calls us to remember “we” don’t have all the answers, “we” are not always right and in that, we grow together for the good of all… creatures, plants and planet.
“On Sunday, April 24th, 2022 we will kick things off at 10am with a Coffee Talk with local author Shirley DicKard @ Center for the Arts in Grass Valley, CA. Join us for this discussion around her new book “Heart Wood: Four Women, for the Earth, for the Future.”
We then have a number of film screenings slated for the rest of the day at the Grass Valley Center for the Arts. At noon we will screen the 2022 People’s Choice Award Winner “Inhabitants: An Indigenous Perspective” followed by a discussion panel about indigenous knowledge featuring Nisenan tribal spokesperson Shelly Covert, Washoe Tribal Historic Preservation Officer, Darrel Cruz, and ethnohistorian Dr. Tanis C. Thorne.”