The way of life that centers mutual exchange and sharing amongst all beings, past, present and future, seen and unseen, and the Earth.
Facing a climate crisis, the Reciprocity Project embraces Indigenous value systems that have bolstered communities since the beginning of time. To heal, we must recognize that we are in relationship with Earth, a place that was in balance for millennia. This short film series and multimedia platform, made in partnership with Indigenous storytellers and their communities worldwide, invites learning from time-honored and current Indigenous ways of being.
Princess Daazhraii Johnson
A grandfather teaches his granddaughter, a young Gwich'in mother named Alisha, how reciprocity is embedded in all aspects of life. The northern lights warm the caribou; the caribou helps feed and sustain the community; the community honors the connections. Each element in nature is purposeful and related. In turn, these connections bring new meaning to Alisha and her wishes for her children and for all living beings.
Filmed on the Qualla Boundary and Cherokee Nation, ᎤᏕᏲᏅ (What They’ve Been Taught) explores expressions of reciprocity in the Cherokee world, brought to life through a story told by an elder and first language speaker. ᎤᏕᏲᏅ circles the intersection of tradition, language, land and a commitment to maintaining balance. This film was created in collaboration with independent artists from both Cherokee Nation and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.
David Hernandez Palmar
During a visit to her sister Amaliata, Rosa, a wise Wayuu woman, teaches her grandchildren the importance of reciprocity within their culture.
On the Eastern reaches of the occupied territory now referred to as North America, the children of Koluskap call upon ancestral teachings to guide them. Revitalizing cultural practices kept from their elders, Peskotomuhkati young people lead an intergenerational process of healing through the reclamation of athasikuwi-pisun, "tattoo medicine."
Featuring Passamaquoddy citizens Christopher Newell, Roger Paul, and Lauren Stevens; and Yo-Yo Ma.
Waponahkik (the people of the dawn land) bring gratitude to the sun where it first looks our way. Song and stories invite us to accept the new day and put behind us any harm done the day before.
Ma’s House was once the heart of a community. As Ma’s grandson, artist and photographer Jeremy Dennis is on a quest to restore the family home to its central role as a community gathering place for a new generation of diverse artists. Through personal mementos, intimate narratives, and a touch of celebrity gossip, Dennis and his family reveal generations of history and hope contained within the walls of their home.
Justyn Ah Chong
The Fukumitsu ʻOhana (family) of Hakipuʻu are Native Hawaiian taro farmers and keepers of this generational practice. While much of Oʻahu has become urbanized, Hakipuʻu remains a kīpuka (oasis) of traditional knowledge where great chiefs once resided and their bones still remain. The Fukumitsus are tossed into a world of complex real estate and judicial proceedings when nearby Kualoa Ranch, a large settler-owned corporation, destroys their familial burials to make way for continued development plans.
Reciprocity Project seeks to embrace the value of reciprocity through Indigenous perspectives through storytelling, film, podcasts, and other creative mediums. In doing so, we aim to create a paradigm shift that reframes our relationships to the Earth, other living beings, and one another.
Nia Tero is a US-based non-profit working in solidarity with Indigenous peoples and movements worldwide with a mission of securing Indigenous guardianship of vital ecosystems. Nia Tero is committed to an antiracist and inclusive culture centering Indigenous rights, wisdom, practices, worldviews, and protocols.
Upstander Project encourages decolonization and upstander behavior through compelling documentary films and learning resources. Their goals are to overcome indifference to social injustice, develop the skills of upstanders, and contribute to action-oriented campaigns in response to vital social issues.
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