Press Kit

Diiyeghan naii Taii Tr’eedaa

(We Will Walk the Trail of our Ancestors)


Pronunciation and Style Guide
Diiyeghan naii Taii Tr’eedaa, [Dee-ya-hun nai Tai Tray-da] is Gwich’in.

When writing the title, please use the Gwich’in and include the English translation after as shown:
Diiyeghan naii Taii Tr’eedaa (We Will Walk the Trail of our Ancestors)

A film by: Princess Daazhraii Johnson with Alisha Carlson (Gwich'in)

Producers: Taylor Hensel, Adam Mazo, Kavita Pillay, and Tracy Rector.

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.

A Gwich’in grandfather teaches his granddaughter how reciprocity is embedded in our lives.

About Reciprocity Project
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 since time immemorial. This short film series and multimedia platform invites learning from time-honored and current Indigenous ways of being. Reciprocity Project is a co-production of Nia Tero and Upstander Project, in association with REI Co-op Studios.

Technical Specifications
TRT | 6 minutes
Aspect Ratio | 16:9
Format | Digital
Audio | Stereo
Language | Gwich'in
Location | Filmed on Lower Tanana Dene Lands


Princess Daazhraii Johnson (Neet'saii Gwich'in) lives on the traditional territory of lower Tanana Dene lands in Alaska. She serves on the board of Native Movement and NDN Collective and is the former ED of the Gwich'in Steering Committee - collectively, she works to protect the lands, waters, animal and plant relatives that continue to take care of us all. Princess received a B.A. in International Relations from The George Washington University and a M.Ed. at the University of Alaska Anchorage with a focus on Environmental and Science Education. She has served on the SAG-AFTRA Native American Committee since 2007 and was appointed by President Obama in 2015 to serve on the Board of Trustees for the Institute of American Indian Arts. She is a Sundance Film Alum, a Nia Tero Storytelling Fellow, and the Creative Producer and a Screenwriter for the Peabody award-winning PBS Kids series "Molly of Denali."

Community Partner & Associate Producer
Alisha Carlson (Neets'aii Gwich'in) follows in the footsteps of her Ancestor's creativity and imagination. In addition to her filmmaking endeavors, she works for the Arctic Village Tribal Council and is a mother to her two children. She has her AAS degrees in Accounting and Business. She has always been active in ensuring that Gwich'in dance and songs continue for generations to come. She looks forward to making more films in the Gwich'in language that uplift her beautiful culture.

Artist statement
It was an honor to explore alongside members of our community, not only the theme of 'Reciprocity' but what it means to be a Gwich'in person and our connection to the vadzaih (caribou). We come from a heavily documented community in regards to our work keeping the calving grounds of the Porcupine Caribou Herd safe from oil development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, yet it is challenging to relay the nature of our spiritual relationship to the vadzaih and to all life.

Through the use of the Gwich'in language and visuals created by our own perspective, we are able to better express this relationship. We are fortunate to have the teachings of our Ancestors and our Elders to guide us. Listening to Rev. Trimble Gilbert's voice and wisdom, we hope that our audience is also able to reflect on what it means to be a human being and what values we are passing along to future generations. May we all be guided to restore balance with ourselves, one another, and our beautiful Mother Earth.

About Reciprocity Project

In Season One of this multimedia project, storytellers and community partners created films in response to a question: What does ‘reciprocity’ mean to you and your community? Facing a climate crisis, the Reciprocity Project embraces Indigenous value systems that have bolstered communities since time immemorial.Reciprocity Project invites global Indigenous filmmakers to center Indigenous perspectives about the reciprocal relationship between all beings — seen and unseen — and the lands we inhabit.


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 is a Boston-based non-profit that uses storytelling to amplify silenced narratives, develop upstander skills to challenge systemic injustice, and nurture compassionate, courageous relationships that honor the interconnection of all beings and the Earth. Upstander Project envisions a world rooted in responsibility and respect for all where upstanders confront injustice and repair harm to ensure all beings thrive together.

REI Co-op Studios develops and produces stories that entertain, enrich and explore the power of time spent outside, while complementing the co-op’s broader climate and racial equity, diversity, and inclusion commitments.

PRESS & Acclaim

“This film is a prime example of Indigenous narrative power. Its message connects the dots between the struggle to protect the land and the fight to preserve Gwich’in heritage and culture. It’s so good!”
-Dallas Goldtooth, Actor (Reservation Dogs) and Founder of the Indigenous Environmental Network

Diiyeghan naii Taii Tr’eedaa (We Will Walk the Trail of our Ancestors) has screened at film festival around the globe, including Anchorage International Film Festival, Skábmagovat Indigenous Peoples’ Film Festival, Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, Durango Independent Film Festival, Cartagena International Film Festival, Environmental Film Festival in The Nation's Capital, Dawson City International Short Film Festival, Independent Film Festival Boston, Dreamspeakers International Indigenous Film Festival, Atlanta Docufest, Durban International Film Festival The Roxbury International Film Festival, Māoriland Film Festival, Montreal First Peoples' Festival, and imagineNATIVE Film and Media Festival.

Podcast Episodes about the film



Diiyeghan naii Taii Tr’eedaa

(We Will Walk the Trail of our Ancestors )
A film by Princess Daazhraii Johnson
Filmed on Lower Tanana Dene Lands
A Nia Tero and Upstander Project Production In association with REI Co-op Studios

Alisha 'Diinashii' Carlson Gracie Carlson
Ryler Carlson
Mary Fields
Dr. Rev. Trimble Gilbert Aldzak Johnson
K'edzaaye' Johnson Princess Daazhraii Johnson Kias Peter

Maya Salganek

Princess Daazhraii Johnson

IMAX Footage Courtesy of Campion Advocacy Fund and Florian Shultz

James C. Johnson III Princess Daazhraii Johnson

Hilda Johnson Adeline Raboff

Alisha 'Diinashii' Carlson Maya Salganek

Maya Salganek

James C. Johnson III Beyza Boyacioglu

Taylor Hensel

Eleni Ledesma

Maya Salganek

Jennifer Kreisberg

Keri Oberly

“GASLIT” by Lightning Bug

Dr. Rev. Trimble Gilbert

Allan Hayton Gideon James Evon Peter Hishinlai' Peter Tanan Ch'atoh University of Alaska Fairbanks
Inspired by The Man Who Became a Caribou by Craig Mishler and Kenneth Frank

For Series Credits please see the Season One Press Kit

Download the full press kit and trailer.


Director Princess Daazhraii Johnson - credit Keri Oberly

Associate Producer Alisha Carlson credit - Keri Oberly

Diiyeghan naii Taii Treedaa Poster

Diiyeghan naii Taii Tr'eedaa still 1 - Key image - Alisha Carlson's daughter - credit Keri Oberly

Diiyeghan naii Taii Tr'eedaa still 2 - Credit Maya Salganek

Press Kit PDF, Learning Materials, Transcript


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Updated | 9/21/23