Gather: A New Project@gatherfilm

A new film on Native American Food Sovereignty. Director: @mrsanjayr. Producers: @Sterlinharjo @tanyameillier. DP: @renan_ozturk. With @fdni303

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It’s nice that @patagonia is trying to hit this issue, but the Indigenous communities affected by this move most MUST be heard. Not one tribal government who has significant stakes in this have been talked too or included in this effort. 5 tribal governments have had their tribal sovereignty cast aside making this the second major move Trump has made against Indigenous people in this move that is less unprecedented and more falling in line with the American tradition of disregarding this land’s first people. The space proposed for industrialization is filled with over 100,000 sacred sites, ceremonial grounds and burials of old ones. This is Indian Land. This is the land our Creator has covenanted to us. We are the stewards of this land, and we will fight to protect it always. (design concept by @alexismunoadyer and @kaytebrown! THANK YOU!) #savebearsears #protectthesacred


As part of the @gatherfilm project we have had the amazing opportunity to observe true stewards of our food system - deeply wise and compassionate people who understand how to love the land and truly live in balance with it. One such wisdom keeper is Twila Cassadore (@cassadoretwy) of the San Carlos Apache Reservation. Twila and her colleague Seth Pilsk are part of the Western Apache Diet Project thru which they interviewed dozens upon dozens of Apache elders to reconstitute the traditional Apache food system devastated by colonization and genocide. The first step was understanding what Apaches used for sustenance before the advent of the White Man. Apaches were primarily foragers and hunters and understood the seasonality of both flora and fauna. One plentiful species in the winter is the elusive Gloscho- a small rodent that makes large mounded nests under cacti. Gloscho eat a pure and clean diet of shrubs and desert legumes. They’re a plentiful food source if one knows how to scare them out of their nest and how to catch this critter that seems to scurry a million miles an hour. Here, Twila initiates young Mae in the traditional food ways of her elders. Mae ended up helping to catch a Gloscho, which Twila made into a “deconstructed” tamale: meat with sumac berry and squash layered on fire baked corn meal. The colonizers gave the Gloscho a western name: woodrat which unfortunately impacted the way Apache viewed this staple, said Twila.

San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation

We spent a glorious day with Twila Cassadore (@cassadoretwy), an expert forager and educator from San Carlos Apache. After work, many of us stop at a Walmart or some other grocery store. Twila pulled over on the side of the highway and walked purposely towards an ashen, dry mound of rocky soil. She plunged her fingers into the earth and one by one pulled out tiny woodsy spheres. As you see in the video, she rubbed all these little globules together and with one puff, separated their hulls from their flesh – exposing pungent and tangy little wild onions. “Food is everywhere, it’s all around us, “she said. “You just have to know where to look. “ @mrsanjayr @renan_ozturk @daharbfilm @cassadoretwy @apachefarmer @nephi_craig @tanya_meillier @chzamag @sterlinharjo @fndi303 @jenbuffett @kiowaqtee

San Carlos, Arizona

Stay tuned for the next article in our Native Journalism Project: coming soon on @slowfoodusa
Pictured: a glimpse of a magical evening last Thursday in Manhattan when a historic gathering of Native chefs cooked a pre-colonist meal for patrons of @dimestimes.
The dish is YUAAKARUCHI (quail) with horno (southwestern oven) roasted chico (corn) with crab apple and mesquite. Brought to us by the chefs of the @icollective2017_ (@neftaliduran_ @tasteofn8vcuisine @nitaohoyo @yazzie_thechef @cassadoretwy to name only a few)

Photo by @kalengoodluck. Upcoming story by @gmabaj
@thepixieandthescout @lalph_rauren @orawise @taylorfreesolo @kim_baca1 @fndi303 @kiowaqtee @sterlinharjo @lizhoover @the11thhourproject @jenbuffett @ranalapine @renan_ozturk @gretacaruso


(See link in profile):: “Despite the more than 164-year assault on the North Coast’s native peoples and their indigenous foodways—from outright persecution and slaughter in the 19th Century to policies today that restrict indigenous rights—as well as a slew of acute environmental transformations, the Tolowa Dee-ni’, which currently include 1,609 tribal members, continue to practice their traditions today.” We have a great piece up this morning on @civileats on #Tolowa food traditions written by @riseupranch with photos by @singsinthetimber. Thanks to @kim_baca1 @taylorfreesolo for editing and producing this story. Special thanks to @siixuutesna @gretacaruso for making this a reality! @sterlinharjo @tanya_meillier @the11thhourproject @renan_ozturk @fndi303 @jenbuffett @jlg.ensaw @petergensaw @sammygensaw @aesthetic.n8tive.trash


In 1978, in response to #Yurok tribal members selling an abundance of salmon into the Northern California markets (increasing supply and dropping prices), a conglomerate of salmon brokers pressured the US government to stop the fishing of the Klamath by the #indigenous. Forget that the Natives had the legal rights not to mention ancestral rights. The US government swooped in with large boats and billy clubs and smashed boats and bodies. Yurok and Hoopa fishermen and fisherwomen battled on the Klamath before retreating to an enforced embankment on the adjacent Trinity River. On that embankment (itself an ancestral village), Chucky Carpenter recalls the days when Native activists from around the country poured into the Hoopa Valley to take up arms for the Ancestral right to fish. And guess what, with the rally cry of #FishOn echoing thru the valley, they won. With dams, overfishing and climate change threatening the Trinity like never before, the fight rages on. @renan_ozturk @daharbfilm @tanya_meillier @taylorfreesolo @aesthetic.n8tive.trash @chzamag @frau_mit_katze @fndi303 @kim_baca1 @riseupranch @gatherfilm @sterlinharjo @jenbuffett

Hoopa, California

We had an absolutely incredible time following Yurok members of the #AncestralGuard on their indigenous river – the Klamath. The ancestral guard is a small group of young coastal Californian indigenous men and women committed to reversing the silent genocide of their people. Focusing on reestablishing ancient foodways for health and strength as well as revitalizing the appetite for ancestral culture among youth, the ancestral guard understands that to continue as indigenous people, minds need to be transformed not just on reservations but off. Everyone has a different definition of what it really means to be indigenous - but for these youth on the Klamath, they say to be indigenous is to love their river. And that allows all coastal natives who love the Klamath to be considered as Yurok in the mind of these kids. They continue by saying that to love their river means to love the ocean and mother earth because all three systems are intrinsically connected. With climate change they have seen that no matter how much they try to protect the river, greater forces threatening to destroy everything they hold dear. Drone work by @renan_ozturk and @daharbfilm. - @jlg.ensaw @petergensaw @frau_mit_katze @tanya_meillier @sterlinharjo @chzamag @taylorfreesolo @fndi303 @siixuutesna @taracduggan @gretacaruso @kim_baca1 #klamath #yurok #eureka #california #indigenous #nativeheritagemonth

Klamath, California

Prepping for a shoot this week on the #Yurok and #Hoopa reservations deep in the heart of the Redwood forest. Most of northern California was covered by the beautiful Giants. As you can expect, when colonists saw these massive trees they saw dollar signs. And they subsequently destroyed millions of trees – but for what? These trees are very difficult to regenerate. So for a generation of greed, humanity in the future will be deprived of seeing these trees except in protected areas -in sort of like tree museums. Devastatingly sad. As always, in most of the state parks, as beautiful as they are, there is no mention of the original inhabitants of these forests. This particular Grove was bought and secured by the Rockefeller family. The lore makes it sound like the Rockefellers saved the trees. Maybe they did in a direct way. But Robber Baron families like that are the reason why these trees needed saving in the first place. #rantover @fndi303

Humboldt Redwoods State Park

Our first shoot on Cochiti Pueblo, followed by White Mountain and San Carlos Apache was nearly flawless. As on many first shoots, it takes a few days and a few locations to begin feeling where the movie wants to take you. There's always a little bit of a push and pull at the beginning as you readjust your style and expectations. We realized that the quality and the caliber of the stories we were being told was so lofty that it was best to let our characters drive the entire narrative. Our job is to do their stories justice and just try to keep up! Good 📷 by @renan_ozturk Other ones by @mrsanjayr 😊


Excellent piece by our producer @sterlinharjo. Link is in our bio.


I am really excited about the next shoot we are doing for @gatherfilm. In a couple weeks, we will be up in the northernmost coastal sections of California with @theancestralguard on Yurok and Hoopa land. It's been a tough season for traditional fishing on the Klamath and Trinity Rivers. The government allocation (and there are problems with that very term) is down from 600k fish for the tribes to just SIX HUNDRED. Over centuries of inhibition on the coast, natives never led to the demise of any species. But in just 100 years of commercial fishing in the Pacific, salmon stocks have nearly been wiped out. The future is uncertain for California Coastal Tribes, but it's not necessarily bleak. Youth are discovering agency and responsibility. Looking forward to witnessing their work. 📷 @mrsanjayr. @fndi303

Redwood Forest

Another shot of young Mae (to the left) standing in rapt attention as her aunt Twila (@45sky) chops an indigenous wild banana. Mae had just completed her second ever foraging trip at the ripe age of 8. In the past, Apache kids her age knew dozens of wild edibles as well as the time of year best for their harvest. After a century of sustained attempt at genocide and the unrelenting imposition of colonial values and economics, the Apache reservations have been ravaged. Yet, their ancestral knowledge still remains thanks not only to elders but to youth receptive to carry-on these secret and sacred traditions. Mae has much to learn. But we will follow her journey over the next year. @fndi303 @tanya_meillier @sterlinharjo @renan_ozturk @taylorfreesolo @nephi_craig @apachefarmer @daharbfilm @frau_mit_katze #apachecorn #westernapacheria #cafégozhóó #decolonizediets @jenbuffett

San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation