This globally concerned documentary gets inside a worldwide movement of indigenous people who believes that only through their combined efforts can the planet be pulled off its current crash course with environmental disaster.
How did you discover this global indigenous movement?
Much like you found your way into writing. My quest since I was very young was in search for knowledge and wisdom. Initially I looked for this knowledge and wisdom in school, books, even church. As I got older, I became aware of ancient knowledge and wisdom that can not be found in universities or many books, but my search lead me to indigenous cultures, beliefs where ancient knowledge/wisdom had been preserved and passed on for thousands of years. It was a personal journey that evolved into a career in film.
Please keep in mind that I am not only a local Santa Barbara resident but a first-time filmmaker. I don’t want to present myself as anything more. I am not from Hollywood. Doc film makers often get into film because they discover something so important to society that it they must find away to provide a platform.
It seems very much based upon the gathering in Canada. Was it hard to gain that access?
Yes, this is a major piece that bookends the film in a strong way! And yes, there were many more experienced film crews that wanted this invitation, but by the grace of God and the trust we had built with uncle, he gave us the exclusive and a we left for Greenland on a wish and prayer!
My original partner, Suzan Pelfrey, and I were invited by Angaangaq or Uncle as people call him to film the Fire and Ice Ceremony in Greenland where the Kalaallit Eskimo Prophecy was coming to fruition before our eyes — after 20,000 years and science backs this as well. The ice was melting to such a huge degree that the trees were growing back as I said, after 20,000 years. The Eskimo new this time of great change in our world was here and uncle was chosen to light the sacred fire with sacred ashes from all over the world and melt the ancient ice within this fire. This fire would be the beacon of light for humanity to understand and head the call.
This was symbolic of, as uncle says, “Melting the ice in the heart of man.” He knew that the ice had been melting since the 1970s and no one was listening, and then he realized that they could only truly hear him and understand the impact of their outer world if they first got connected to their own hearts internally! This is the big message with in the film.
Gaining access to uncle’s family’s sacred lands was not hard. But getting our large amounts of film equipment, generators, tents, and sleeping gear for Suzan and I and our amazing crew and sleeping in tents, eating muskox and seal was a stretch and absolutely not to be missed! The sun only set for a couple hours while we were there so our ability to film long beautiful ceremonies into the wee hours of the night was amazing and an initiation of sorts for Suzan and me to say the least for a couple of women who admit to liking our creature comforts.
They were very open to this and that made filming so extraordinary. On other locations in Canada and North America, there were many natives who did not know us and they did not always want to be filmed and so we respected that.
Being very familiar with ceremony in our personal lives, we were very familiar with how to respect and cut cameras, like during actual sweat lodges, there is never access into the lodge. Cutting cameras during sacred peace pipe ceremonies are never filmed and many elders ask to cut cameras if an intimate prayer is being said. Chief Arvols World Prayer Day’s actual ceremony can never have cameras as well. And there are many other ceremonies that cannot be filmed because it is just not done out of respect.
What is your connection to Santa Barbara? Have our Chumash people been involved at all in this movement?
I am a 16-year resident of Santa Barbara and I pinch myself that I get to live here and surf and hike and just be in this extraordinary community. Most of my film crew, editors, writer, and musical composer are all from Ojai as well. We all know this area is full of creative and talented people and my team are some of the very best. They work in Hollywood but they prefer to work write in our own paradise, of course, so we did that when we returned from location. I am so blessed to have these people in my life and working our our film.
Is the mainstream aware of the proliferation of white animals being born? Is that a scientifically supported phenomenon?
Well, I don’t believe many nonnative are aware of this incredible phenomenon, although I found a nonnative woman in Santa Ynez who has been protecting two white buffalo because she knew the importance of this prophecy. So there are those who have become aware and if you search for it on the internet, you will see that articles have been written about it since the prophecy began to unfold in ‘80s.
The power of the drum is an interesting study in the film. Does that cross cultures, even into the non-indigenous people of the world?
This drumming and the connection to our own hearts is as old as creation most or many nonnatives have simply, in my humble opinion, lost this in over time. Elizabeth Rocher, who is a famous female mathematician known as the female Einstein of our times, was present at the indigenous roundtable that. She brought with her the recording of our Earth’s resonance or frequencies that she played for everyone at the gathering and, interestingly, none could deny the sounds reflected the heart tones and or drum beats of native peoples. This is undeniable and scientific if that matters, which is often does to most.
What will it take for this movement to spread to the mainstream and for everyday people to wake up?
Let’s reflect back on what uncle states at the beginning and end of our film: “Melting the Ice in the Heart Of Man.” It is this connection to our hearts and the understanding of the interconnectedness of ALL life and re-connection to our Beloved Earth that will create the changes needed in our world. And these are the very gifts that indigenous peoples around the world are offering at this time.
We all have deep purpose in our lives if we choose and when we allow that heartfelt connection to land and Spirit and each other we are an unstoppable force for change! For example, who would have ever thought that a busy mom of three teenagers from Santa Barbara could gain the trust of extraordinary native spiritual leaders and gather a crew and head to Greenland, Canada and thru the Americas to create a first-time feature-length doc on ancient indigenous wisdom, prophecies and ceremonies? So if I can do, so can anyone who chooses and that is my message to the readers.
Check the latest schedule here.