October 24, 2011
Teachings of the Tree People
The Work of Bruce Miller
National Heritage Fellow Gerald Bruce (Sùbiyay) Miller, Skokomish Tribal Twana Indian leader, gathers and weaves a cedar bark mat and shares his life story and the teachings of the Tree People. A passionate student of the traditional culture, Bruce became the bearer of the language, oral history, art and spirituality of the tuwaduq (Twana) and Southern Coast Salish peoples. This film documents his race against time and ailing health to pass the knowledge of his ancestors on to those who would listen. The film chronicles Bruce's youth among his tribal elders; his young adulthood in school (Berkeley), war (Viet Nam) and on the stage (New York City); and his decision to return home and lead a cultural renaissance in the Pacific Northwest. It documents traditional practices of gathering and preparing cedar bark for weaving, uses of medicinal plants, and the presentation of wild foods for the fall Ceremony of First Foods. Completed just before his death in 2005.
Born April 23, 1944 in Skokomish, 15th child of Fred & Georgia Miller. Tribal & spiritual leader, storyteller, caretaker of tribal traditions, weaver, carver, teacher; lived near Hood Canal; wrote "The Changer," winner U.S. Bicentennial Playwrights Award; recipient Wash. St. Governor's Heritage Award, 1992; cofounded NW Native American Basketweavers Association, 1994; designated Wash. St. "Living Treasure," 1999; awarded National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship, June 2004. Died Feb. 5, 2005 from a heart attack.
One amazing person among many: A life lived and the realization of the love of his people and the land. Food for your soul and enrichment for your life. ~Mike
Askwith Media Library 54659-D 57 minutes 2006
Includes The 20 min. educational version of Teachings of the Tree People was made in 2004.
Posted by mcmike at October 24, 2011 09:24 AM