Spirit of the Land

The Spirit of the Land series promotes understanding of Native American cultures. For many centuries the native peoples of North America have had an intimate relationship with their natural environment, deriving from it spiritual fulfillment, as well as the resources necessary for survival. This special closeness between Native Americans and their world is the focus of the Spirit of the Land film series.The first two films explore the lives of Native Hawaiians and Yupíik Eskimos of Western Alaska. Individuals share their beliefs and experiences from the past and describe their hopes and concerns for the future. In the third film, In the Wake of Our Ancestors, the two cultures come together, when the Tlingit and Haida Indians of Southeast Alaska help the Hawaiians in their efforts to build a voyaging canoe out of natural materials. All of the films reveal how Native Americans in vastly different physical environments meet the common challenge of maintaining ancient traditions while keeping in step with the modern world.

By exposure to the lifestyle and value systems of people from different backgrounds, viewers begin to perceive the environmental, geographical, cultural and historical forces that influence human development.