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About Us

Reframing our relationships to the Earth

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Reciprocity Project lifts up the value of reciprocity in Indigenous ways of storytelling through film, podcasts, and other creative mediums. We aim to create a paradigm shift that reframes our relationships to the Earth, other living beings, and one another.


Reciprocity Project is co-produced by Nia Tero and Upstander Project in association with REI Co-Op Studios.

Who We Are

Embracing the Value of Reciprocity

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Nia Tero

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

Upstander Project is a Boston-based non-profit that encourages decolonization and upstander behavior through compelling documentary films and learning resources. Upstander Project’s 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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Our Mission

Affirming that Indigenous peoples are the first beneficiaries of this production

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We acknowledge that Black, Brown, Immigrant and Indigenous communities face systemic racism, many forms of violence and centuries of injustice. We stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters and all people in the Black community and are committed to building power with all relatives and allies. We look to traditional values of respect, reciprocity and community to strengthen us all. Through our work we strive to join together to lead change and contribute to the fight for transformation and liberation from oppression.

We acknowledge Indigenous peoples are guardians of their customary wisdom, with the right to protect and control its dissemination and amplification. We recognize there is no singular narrative of Indigenous identity or ways of being. This project seeks to honor the diversity of Indigenous understandings of place, language, culture, identity and lived experience. Through collaboration we strive to cultivate spaces of creative freedom, innovation, inclusion, safety, visibility, and hope. In centering Indigenous voices we seek to Indigenize the ways in which stories are told about First Peoples of the world by humbly accepting the process of learning as expansive and never-ending. By rooting our relationships with collaborators in transparency and deep listening, we believe authentic and important stories will emerge.

For generations, Indigenous peoples have sustained many of the healthiest ecosystems on Earth: areas rich in biodiversity and systems essential to our global climate, fresh water, clean air, and healthy food. These elements are vital to us all. We believe that in this time of environmental catastrophe and global unrest, it is critical to turn to Indigenous ways of being and values as a way forward.

Through storytelling and authentic sharing, we strive to highlight positive actions we can all take in response to the harm inflicted on our earth and society by colonialism and resource extraction. By upholding the understanding that hope is the greatest antidote for pain, our mission with this project is to make space for unity and conversations about how storytelling can heal us. There is a place for all of us, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, to coexist. For non-Indigenous people, this requires a transition from being occupiers to “neighbors with legitimacy.” Reciprocity will provide a roadmap.

Our Team

Organizing Partners

The Reciprocity Project series producing team is a diverse collective including filmmakers, educators, program managers, advisers, editors, artists, and more. We are Indigenous, settler, and multicultural. Together we share a commitment to taking care of land and all beings, carrying forward culture, and teaching the truth.

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News & Press

Reciprocity Project stories in the news

April 8, 2022

The Arts STL

Shorts (and a capsule review) | Full Frame Documentary Film Festival 2022

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January 19, 2022

Indian Country Today

Sundance puts spotlight on Indigenous films

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January 18, 2022

Tulsa World

Cherokee filmmaker Brit Hensel secures place in Sundance Film Festival history

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