LISTENING GROUND DOCUMENTARY chronicles a Native American man's listening journey as he walks about on the land during a time of severe drought and great climate change in his beloved Southwest homelands.
This documentary story series features Larry Littlebird, a revered Pueblo Indian storyteller as he shares stories, songs and prophecies from his rich tribal American heritage and oral tradition legacy. Drawing from his multi-faceted background as a filmmaker, wilderness facilitator and experienced hunter-farmer, Littlebird offers a striking point of view as he asks the provocative question: “What are the benefits and blessings of climate change?”
As we follow Littlebird in real time, we get a rare glimpse into a simpler way of life rooted in indigenous land wisdom and spiritual precepts. Walking up and down the rolling Juniper Piñon savannah in the starkly beautiful Southwest landscape, Littlebird shares dramatic stories about our kinship to water, our connection to the sun, wind and fire, our relationships to the Plant People, the Bee People and other living creatures. Over the course of one year and through four seasons, Littlebird makes pilgrimages to water places and revered landmarks sacred to his People. He visits Pueblo kin and elders exchanging stimulating story dialogues for ways to support one another and build resilient communities during this changing climate time.
Historically, indigenous peoples have lived intimately rooted in regenerative circles of life. Today’s industrialized societies disconnect us from these natural systems critical for survival. The forming of this nation from sea to shining sea forced the indigenous people from their homelands - tipping the balance.
From that time past through the years arriving up to the present how does one begin to make sense of all that has transpired across this land? How do we restore the healthy root and heal the up-rootedness of a nation?
Eloquent, thoughtful and serious, with a dash of good humor, Littlebird presents a compelling message through an authentic Native American voice. As we travel alongside Littlebird and his friends on this listening journey, we bear witness to an untold, unheard oral history, which connects past, present and future. We are challenged to cultivate a deeper relationship to place; and to discover our own listening ground for living in concert with the land, to one another and all relations at this critical hour on earth.
The Listening Ground video series includes 7 episodes that are one hour in length. We are presently in the funding and development phase for the Pilot Episode: It All Begins with Water.
For more information about this project and to become a sponsor, please contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Larry Littlebird is from Laguna and Santo Domingo Pueblos. He is the Founding Director of Hamaatsa, a Native-led nonprofit organization where he celebrates an indigenous holistic way of life. Over the past five decades, Littlebird has been a strong Native voice with his multi-faceted work as an artist, filmmaker, storyteller, author, hunter-farmer and social activist. He was one of the first American Indians to produce, write and direct films for and about Native people in the United States. He played the lead role in the feature motion picture, House Made of Dawn, based on N. Scott Momaday’s Pulitzer-Prize winning novel. This film was archived by the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian and declared a watershed moment in the history of Native filmmaking.
A master storyteller and author of Hunting Sacred, Everything Listens; Littlebird shares spiritual roots of sustainability and indigenous ways of blessing for inspiring transformative leadership and social action. His signature experiential programs have had a profound impact on people’s lives, globally, nationally and locally. Learning to Listen is a provocative spoken word experience that Larry Littlebird presents as a keynote speaker and is foundational for his experiential curriculums offered at conferences and story camps.
Growing up at his mother’s village of Gwish-tee on the Laguna Pueblo, he spent much of his childhood out on the land with his Gramma and Grampa at their sheep camp and at Kewa his father’s Pueblo, where elders and kin shared freely with him, stories, songs, and spiritual prophecies. These stories that flow from his remnant oral tradition lineage continue to shape his work and life.
Producer, Cultural Director, Host Storyteller
Deborah Littlebird, Producer
Charles Fox, Project Advisor
Shebana Coelho, Director/Editor
Jesse Littlebird, Cinematographer
Video Produced by Larry and Deborah Littlebird and Shebana Coelho, Walking Backward into the Future, features Larry Littlebird on the lands at Hamaatsa.
TEDx Talk with Larry Littlebird:
Photo Credits: (top) Deborah Littlebird; (columns) Ryan Heffernan