The Foundation has long upheld the belief that elders play an instrumental role in environmental conservation. Elders are a treasure trove of knowledge and experience that can help guide us through many challenges, not least of all climate change. That's why we work with the Suzuki Elders Council, a group of volunteers who share their memories and wisdom with us, offering advice on environmental issues.
So it's heartening to see the age-old concept of "honouring your elders" making a much-needed resurgence in society. Of particular note is an upcoming documentary film called Wakan Tanka (meaning "Great Spirit" in the Lakota Sioux language), which explores how the knowledge of our elders can help us solve climate change.
Featuring the voices of environmental and Indigenous elders, including Foundation board and honourary board members, Wakan Tanka is set in a dystopian future in which climate change has wreaked havoc on the planet. It tells the story of a child who must navigate his way through a decaying city as he tries to reach his grandparents.
Filmmaker Margery Moore aims to engage young audiences by featuring music from bands like Lamb and Michael Franti and Spearhead. She also promises to incorporate empowering lessons in "sustainable skill-building." The film will carry strong messages of respect, resourcefulness, and hope for the future.
Wakan Tanka will be released online for free — but not until early 2012. Until then, you can watch a promotional video featuring some familiar Foundation faces.