Nov 24, 2022

Why Everyone Needs to Watch Inhabitants: Indigenous Perspectives for a Regenerative Future

By Tim Hjersted / filmsforaction.org
Why Everyone Needs to Watch Inhabitants: Indigenous Perspectives for a Regenerative Future

Hey all, this is a shoutout for Inhabitants. If you haven't seen it yet, it's an inspiring documentary about the work many of our indigenous relatives are doing today to restore our world.

What do we have to learn from them? Indigenous cultures around the world are essentially the elders of humanity. They are humanity's oldest wisdom keepers and present-day stewards of 80% of the land where biodiversity still thrives.

From that fact alone, it's clear indigenous peoples know something that today's corporations and governments do not. To me, it's more than specific knowledge, values, and wisdom. It's about the underlying stories we teach each new generation about who we are and our relationship to the Earth and other humans. It's about the bedrock narratives that are so self-apparent we're not even aware they're stories.

This is what we have to learn from our indigenous relatives, past, and present,

If humanity (which is now dominated by a neo-colonial, corporate-driven form of civilization all around the world) is going to have any hope of turning back from the brink and creating a regenerative civilization, it will surely be because the wisdom of humanity's indigenous cultures became the new "common sense" - adapted and integrated by almost everyone across the world.

As my friend and brother Aaron Ross always says, we need to "re-indigenize the world."

It is films like Inhabitants that I believe are pivotal to this cultural transformation. The mass dissemination of media like this may well prove essential to human thriving, tomorrow and in the generations to come.

As a side note, this doesn't mean appropriating or taking on specific cultural traditions. Like an iceberg, the distinct cultures of the Maori or the Hopi are like the tip of the iceberg, while the common foundation between them is what lies under the water's surface. We're talking about the world embracing the invisible core, not the outer surface of any particular culture.

In the future I envision, the cultural, secular, and religious diversity of the world would be retained, and people would re-indigenize their existing cultures, with indigenous wisdom and science as the foundation, much the way science and a "one right way to live/corporate-capitalism" ethos forms the foundation of today's global civilization.

Re-indigenizing our cultures and ourselves means re-rooting ourselves to a land base. It is highly bioregional. Applying indigenous perspectives to existing global sub-cultures, corporations, and governments will result in thousands of interpretations in the same way indigenous cultures themselves have invented and evolved thousands of bioregional, culturally distinct interpretations.

To sign off, I'd just like to offer my gratitude for our indigenous relatives, past and present. For centuries they carried the wisdom humanity needed to survive until their culturally younger siblings were wise enough to listen and realize what they had forgotten. May we listen now and act to realize the dreams of our ancestors.

Ashe,
Tim Hjersted
Co-founder, 
Films For Action

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