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In the Light of Reverence

Across the USA, Native Americans are struggling to protect their sacred places. Religious freedom, so valued in America, is not guaranteed to those who practice land-based religion. Every year, more sacred sites - the land-based equivalent of the world's great cathedrals - are being destroyed. Strip mining and development cause much of the destruction. But rock climbers, tourists, and New Age religious practitioners are part of the problem, too. The biggest problem is ignorance.

IN THE LIGHT OF REVERENCE tells the story of three indigenous communities and the land they struggle to protect: the Lakota of the Great Plains, the Hopi of the Four Corners area, and the Wintu of northern California.

'This beautifully-crafted film shows how the places most sacred to Native Americans are being both disrespected and destroyed, and how Indians are fighting back to save their own religious heritage. This film is a wake-up call for everyone who cares about the environment and human rights and deserves every opportunity to reach a broad and diverse audience.' Robert Redford

'For those who know nothing about the denial of Native American religious freedom, this film will change minds and open hearts. For those of us already involved in the struggle to save sacred land, this film will energize and inspire.' Walter Echo-Hawk, Native American Rights Fund

'The film clearly articulates some of the issues indigenous peoples all over the world face as they struggle to prevent their spiritual beliefs from being marginalized by people who believe spiritual places are structures built by men, not the Creator.' Wilma Mankiller, author and former Principal Chief of Cherokee Nation

'This respectful, brave, and understated film, which urges the redress of profound historical errors, is itself an act of reparation. In the Light of Reverence reaches beyond cultural disputes to reveal and document the arena of human wisdom.' Barry Lopez

'The voice of native peoples has been drowned out. Instead, corporate CEOs and those Indians the corporate press has selected to be the spokespeople are featured on front pages. This film allows us to hear new and different voices.'
Jack Forbes, Professor Emeritus, Native American Studies, UC Davis, Co-Founder, DQ University

'The Middle East may get the headlines, but there are battles involving sacred ground in the United States, too, as nicely documented by In the Light of Reverence, on PBS.' The New York Times

'In the Light of Reverence shines a beam on the fundamental differences between two world views, one based on individual rights - including the right to exploit the land for profit - the other, on responsibility to a community that includes people, ancestral spirits and the spirits of the forest and mountains themselves.' Sara Jean Green, Seattle Times

'Highly recommended...' MC Journal

'Done...superbly well...a stunning example of truth being stranger than fiction. Comments from both sides of the issue could be dialog from an award-winning drama, instead of real life interviews.' Sharon Abercrombie, EARTHLight Magazine

'With its timely subject matter, even-handed approach in addressing multiple views, and excellent production values, this is highly recommended. Editor's Choice' Video Librarian

'A compelling comparative study of environmental and cultural threats facing three contemporary Indian nations as they strive to protect their most sacred lands...The filmmakers have done an outstanding job of delivering a remarkably accessible presentation on a very sensitive and infinitely complex issue.' Samuel R. Cook, Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Anthropology Review Database


Main credits

McLeod, Christopher (Producer)
McLeod, Christopher (Director)
Abbe, Jessica (Screenwriter)
Coyote, Peter (Narrator)
Cardinal, Tantoo (Narrator)
Parrinello, Will (Editor)

Other credits

Video and cinematography, Will Parinello ... [et al.]; editor, Will Parinello; original score, Jon Herbst.

Docuseek2 subjects

Distributor subjects

American Studies
Earth Science
Environmental Ethics
Film Studies
Indigenous Peoples
Multicultural Studies
Native Americans
Outdoor Education
Social Psychology
Western US


native americans; light; reverence; religion; land; environment; human rights; social studies; indigenous people; "In the Light of Reverence"; Bullfrog Films; Hopi; sacred sites; Mount Shasta; Devils Tower; Lakota; ,doc; sociss

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