Travels with Tracing Roots
We just got back from an amazing sceening tour with Tracing Roots. As part of the trip, Delores Churchill, a master weaver and Haida elder, visited collections and demonstrated weaving techniques. Stops included the Eiteljorg Museum in Indianapolis, the Harvard Peabody and Smithsonian's National Museum of National History.
Screenings are such a powerful way to interact with audiences. We talked about issues of ownership and language preservation. We touched on how art and culture connects and inspires people. Weaving and creating baskets from spuce roots is a strong example of how we connect to each other and to where we live.
We also went to Yale University and shared the film at the Native American Cultural Center. As Delores told staff reporter Ivona Jacob, "Weavng is such an important part of art history" Churchill said. "I feel encouraged when I speak to people like you, because I know it is important to you."
As Ivona writes, "Churchill highlighted that the spruce root hat, which is central to the film, was discovered because of a retreating glacier, a natural phenomenon that she said occurs as a result of global warming.Even so, Churchill noted that she thinks younger generations have the ability to reverse the phenomenon’s negative effects. “Nature knows a lot more than we do and it makes you realize that global warming is really happening,” she said. “It is people like you, young people who are going to make it stop.” Read an more from the article from the Yale Daily News.
Broadcast on Public Television
In celebration of Native American Heritage month, Tracing Roots will be broadcast on public television! So far there are 543 telecasts scheduled across the country.
On November 8th and 9th the film shows on Iowa, Idaho and Oregon Public Television, in Los Angeles, New Orleans, Milwaukee, Missoula, Salt Lake City and elswehere!
We cut out over six minutes of the sceeening version of Tracing Roots and have worked with public TV station KTOO-TV, in Juneau to prep the film for national release. Offered through NETA and the World Channel.
Downloadable Guide Now Ready!
Just finished: a new study guide made to help teachers and students develop an understanding of Indigenous history, heritage and contemporary artistic tradition Discussion points, classroom activities and assignments, and additional resources are provided to assist in delving deeper into some of the issues raised in “Tracing Roots,” including: the links between heritage and the perpetuation of culture; the concepts of stewardship and caretaking; the protection of and control over artistic works as intellectual property; and the role of Elders in teaching and learning traditional cultural practices.
We have so many people and organizations to thank for helping us travel, produce the guide and get the film out to public televison. That includes among many others who made the project possible: the Alaska State Council on the Arts, the Recovering Voices and Arctic Studies Program at the Smithsonian, Indiana, Yale and Harvard Universities the Awesome Foundation and the First People's Fund.