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INHABITANTS Event Overview by Swetha

by September 17, 2022 0

Climate Change continues to be a pressing issue that increases its impact daily.  The effects of human created global warming can be seen in our day-to-day lives, with greenhouse gasses already having a significant impact on the environment: global temperatures rising, glaciers shrinking, extreme weather conditions, etc.  While the answer may not be obvious, the indigenous land management practices practiced by Native Americans in the various regions of America may be the solution.  The High School Meaningful Movies group, along with Wallingford Meaningful Movies and Meaningful Movies at First Church Seattle, explored how viewers can learn from the efforts of indigenous groups in preserving traditional land management practices and their cultural identities.

Inhabitants, a film directed by Costa Boutsikaris and Anna Palmer, tells the story of the cultivation and the restoration of traditional indigenous practices by giving us first-hand perspectives as we travel to various reservations and regions in the United States.  This film describes how forced colonization and discrimination outlawed many indigenous traditions and customs; for example, indigenous ceremonial practices in Hawaii were prohibited by Christian missionaries until 1978. 

Inhabitants offers viewers a new outlook on combating climate change through the practices of Native Americans, who are experts in adapting to a changing environment. One significant indigenous land management tradition is the use of fire in relation to conserving and protecting natural resources.  Dr. Michael Kotutwa Johnson of the Hopi Tribegrows crops without dependence on rainfall and explains the use of dry land farming, which does not require irrigation. The Karuk People of Northern California are masters of the practice of burning, which enhances food sources and reduces the risk of wildfire to their community. The Blackfeet herders of Montana and the Indian buffalo management act- interTribal bison cooperative are working to restore buffalo to Indian tribes as they provide food, shelter, clothing, and tools.  Hawaiian natives are reclaiming plantations and creating food gardens to increase food diversity and food forestry and also decrease the impact of colonization/degradation brought to the land.  

Following the film screening, Wallingford Meaningful Movies and Meaningful Movies at First Church Seattle, hosted a community discussion featuring guest speaker, Ramon Shiloh, an award-winning author and the illustrator of several books and focuses his efforts on supporting native youth and educating others.  He expanded on the importance of these indigenous traditions and how people can support traditional land management and food practices.   and explained how individuals could visit farmers’ markets and invest in community gardening and educational efforts to learn more about food management and sustainability.  The author also spoke to the topic of food sovereignty and how individuals should make an effort to learn about food harvesting systems and adapt to food harvest cycles as these are practices embedded in native communities. 

If you want to watch a preview of INHABITANTS please click the link,

Please take a look at the resources to learn more about Ramon Shiloh and his work. 



Visit Ramon’s blog here:

Visit Ramon’s Instagram here:

For more information about Ramon Shiloh, feel free to visit the following links:


This article was written by a member of the Meaningful Movies High School Group, Swetha.

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