February 25, 2022
Trailer: Diiyeghan naii Taii Tr’eedaa by Princess Daazhraii Johnson
Princess Daazhraii Johnson with Alisha Carlson (Gwich'in)
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.
“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.” – Princess Daazhraii Johnson and Alisha Carlson
Diiyeghan naii Taii Tr’eedaa (We Will Walk the Trail of our Ancestors) is part of Reciprocity Project, a co-production of Nia Tero and Upstander Project, in association with REI Co-op Studios.
In addition to watching this film and all 7 episodes of Season One of the Reciprocity Project, you can explore learning materials, watch filmmaker roundtable discussions, listen to podcasts, and read more about the filmmakers’ inspiration on the Reciprocity Project website: reciprocity.org