Makoce Wakan: Sacred Earth
MAKOCE WAKAN: SACRED EARTH explores Native Peoples connection to the land; beliefs, traditions, and philosophies. This World Alert Special aired on VH1 on November 25th, Thanksgiving Day in the U.S., a day of morning in Indian Country. The film focuses on Native Peoples Sacred Sites, The Black Hills and Bear Butte in South Dakota and Mount Graham in Arizona. These Sacred Sites have been used and protected by Native Peoples for religious and medicinal purposes from time immemorial, and are currently threatened by recreational, commercial, and industrial development. Sacred Sites symbolize a productive and positive spiritual unity between human beings and “Mother Earth”, a relationship Native Peoples have long understood.
Written, directed, scored, and hosted by Robby Romero and co-written by Suzan Shown Harjo, MAKOCE WAKAN offers insights about the personal, spiritual, and political importance of protecting Sacred Sites with appearances by: Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-Colorado), Richard Moves Camp (Oglala Lakota Spiritual Leader), Audrey Shenandoah and Betty Jacobs (Onondaga Clan Mothers), Franklin Stanley (Apache Spiritual Leader), Ola Cassadore (Apache Survival Coalition), and Chief Leon Shenandoah (Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy). The special is scored by Robby Romero and features the music of Buddy Redbow along with traditional dances and live performances shot on location in Lakota, Apache, and Onondaga Territories.
The World Alert Special was made to cultivate awareness and support for the protection of Native Peoples Sacred Sites and the amendment of the American Indian Religious Freedom Act to provide for the traditional use of peyote as sacrament in religious ceremonies and to protect the traditional religions and religious purposes of Native Peoples. The legation was successful and the show garnered MTV Networks 160,000 new subscribers from Indian Country.