How can Indigenous Americans promote health and reclaim their spiritual and cultural identities after enduring centuries of atrocities and genocide?
Apparently, by exploring their traditional food systems to better understand the changes in their foodways and the land. The new documentary “Gather” captures that process, and it begins streaming today on iTunes and Amazon. Free DVDs will also be available for organizations in Indian Country, according to the film’s web site.
The 74-minute documentary follows three people on the frontlines of helping their communities literally reconnect to their Indigenous roots. White Mountain Apache Nation chef Nephi Craig opened the Indigenous-centered Café Gozhóó to highlight tribal foodways and provide professional development for people in substance abuse recovery in Arizona. Elsie DuBray (Cheyenne River Sioux), then a high-school scientist, studies bison and indigenous diets. And Ancestral Guard, a group of environmental activists from Northern California’s Yurok Nation, is fighting to save the Klamath River and its sacred salmon.
“Gather” is directed by James Beard Foundation Award-winning filmmaker Sanjay Rawal (“Food Chains”), executive produced by Jason Momoa and made in partnership with the First Nations Development Institute, a Native nonprofit in Colorado.