Screen capture - Standing on Sacred Ground website
Standing on Sacred Ground is a a four-part documentary series on indigenous struggles over sacred sites.

Standing on Sacred Ground on FNX for Earth Day

Vincent Schilling

As part of a four-part documentary series on indigenous struggles over sacred sites that was over seven years in the making, Standing on Sacred Ground, will be broadcast on PBS’s First Nations Experience channel (FNX) as well as other stations to include KQED through April and May, nationally on WorldChannel and the San Francisco Bay Area station KCSM beginning Sunday, April 17 through Friday, April 22 (Earth Day.)

Produced by the Sacred Land Film Project, Standing on Sacred Ground shares stories from eight indigenous communities around the globe that, according to a release: “resist threats to lands they consider sacred while they battle government and corporate megaprojects, New Age tourism, resource extraction, climate change and repression by dominant religions.”

The project airs over the course of four episodes and includes stories on the indigenous shamans of the Altai Republic of Russia, a northern California tribe, the Papua New Guinea people, the First Nations near the tar sands of Alberta, Canada, the Gamo Highland peoples of Ethiopia to the indigenous communities near the Andes of Peru, as well as Aboriginal Australians and Native Hawaiians.

“We’re giving public television viewers the opportunity to hear challenging, global perspectives from a chorus of indigenous voices—activists and elders who are defending against attacks on their resources, sacred places and the future we share,” said producer and director Christopher “Toby” McLeod in the release. “We are proud to partner with FNX and KCSM, which are striving to provide public television viewers with diverse, enlightening programming.”

The film series has screened to great acclaim around the world since its release at the Mill Valley Film Festival in October 2013. It received the Best Documentary Feature Award at the Native American Film Festival in 2013, and director Toby McLeod received the John de Graaf Environmental Filmmaking Award at the Wild & Scenic Film Festival 2014.

The Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian screened the series last year as part of the U.S. Environmental Film Festival, and the films were featured at the IUCN World Parks Congress in Sydney, Australia, in November 2014. The films have also been screening in the Altai Republic, Moscow, Peru, Papua New Guinea, Australia’s National Indigenous Television (NITV), and last year, the films had a nationwide broadcast on the PBS World Channel.

Distributed to 16 PBS and tribal stations in 18 states throughout Indian country, FNX reaches more than 20 million households in the U.S.

The Standing on Sacred Ground series will also be broadcast in the San Francisco Bay Area over four nights on KCSM-TV, starting Sunday, April 17 at 10 PM (PT) and continuing the following three nights at 10 PM (PT).

To learn more about the series visit


Follow ICTMN' A&E Editor Vincent Schilling on Twitter - @VinceSchilling


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