Standing on Sacred Ground: Pilgrims and Tourists

About This Episode


Around the world, indigenous communities stand in the way of government megaprojects. Standing on Sacred Ground: Pilgrims and Tourists explores how traditional native people in the Russian Republic of Altai create their own mountain parks to rein in tourism and resist a gas pipeline that would cut through a World Heritage Site. In northern California, Winnemem Wintu girls grind herbs on a sacred medicine rock, as elders protest U.S. government plans to enlarge one of the West's biggest dams and forever submerge this touchstone of a tribe.

Pilgrims and Tourists is the first episode in the four-part Standing on Sacred Ground. Other episodes include Profit and Loss, Fire and Ice and Islands of Sanctuary. Narrated by Graham Greene, the series exposes threats to native peoples’ health, livelihood, and cultural survival in eight communities around the world. Rare verité scenes of tribal life allow indigenous people to tell their own stories—and confront us with the ethical consequences of our culture of consumption.