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The Indigenous Protectors of the World’s Most Sacred Places

Around the world, Indigenous groups are working to safeguard and restore besieged sacred sites

Back in the 1990s, there was an intense debate among my Native American friends about whether public education about sacred places would be a good idea. One activist argued forcefully that: “Sacred places don’t need a PR campaign. They need ceremony and…
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by: Christopher McLeod – April 22, 2016

Backroom Dealings to Pass CA Drought Bills Violate Democratic Process

But bickering among lawmakers might save the day for McCloud River and the Winnemem Wintu

Secret negotiations are fascinating to behold, especially when the fate of a Native American tribe hangs in the balance, not to mention the fate of California’s environment. The 2015 window is closing for Senator Dianne Feinstein to pass emergency drought legislation, the California…
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by: Christopher McLeod – December 15, 2015

Stand Up for Sacred Ground

Sacred Land Film Project

I have trespassed in order to film mining sites several times, but I’ve only ended up detained by the police once, in Papua New Guinea, while we were filming the “Profit and Loss” segment of our Standing on Sacred Ground series. The Ramu Nico mine is owned by the Chinese government, and I must say that during our hour-long interrogation I felt like I was in a cell in Tibet. Only the…
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by: Christopher McLeod – Autumn 2015

What Good is an Apology?

An apology from the US government for theft of land and other injustices would be an important first step toward healing

This story originally appeared in Common Dreams.  I’m a white man who has worked with Native Americans as a journalist and documentary filmmaker since 1977. Mostly, I have worked on exposing problems — environmental injustice, destruction of sacred places, hidden history. Finding…
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by: Christopher McLeod – June 12, 2015

Why Sacred Places Matter

Film series tells the stories of eight embattled indigenous communities around the world

This story originally appeared in Triple Pundit.  In the last month, Native Hawaiians blockaded construction machinery headed for the top of sacred Mauna Kea, where a 30-meter telescope is to be built. Thirty-one people were arrested. In Arizona, members of the San…
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by: Christopher McLeod – May 22, 2015

The Power of Storytelling

Sacred Land Film Project

photo Christopher McLeodStanding on Sacred Ground profiles the efforts of Australian Aborigines to protect areas that are essential to their culture. Lying awake one night during the editing of the Standing on Sacred Ground series, I tossed and turned and worried about the challenges of telling eight long, complex stories in a society with an ever-shrinking attention span. I asked myself, “Who is going to watch four hours of documentary film?” The…
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by: Christopher McLeod – Autumn 2014

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