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The Whitsell Auditorium and the Northwest Film Center Equipment Room are closed to the public in an effort to further stem the spread of COVID-19. All classes canceled until further notice. Stay connected to art, film, and more by signing up for our newsletter.

Directed by Lawrence Johnson

Oregon, Alaska 2016

Wisdom of the Elders, a Portland cultural organization, records and preserves the history and arts — music, dance, storytelling and traditional arts — of exemplary Native Americans and shares them through a variety of multimedia productions and public events throughout the region. We are pleased to co-present with Wisdom of the Elders a special Native Wisdom Films Festival featuring four recently produced films through their Climate and Native Wisdom Films project, which explores the impact of environmental change on the cultural and economic lives of Native peoples in the Northwest. Accompanying the films is a selection of shorts made by students in Wisdom’s Native Film Academy.

Films in this Program

Alaskan Native Wisdom: The People of the Caribou

Directed by Lawrence Johnson

Athabascans have inhabited Alaska for over 14,500 years. Also known as the Caribou People, there are 12 distinct linguistic groups

Alaskan Native Wisdom: The People of the Whale

Directed by Lawrence Johnson

The Inupiaq people are experiencing unprecedented changes and yet continue to cherish their rich way of life in the uppermost

Native Wisdom: The People of the Oregon Coast

Directed by Lawrence Johnson

Native American elders, indigenous scientists, and cultural leaders from the Pacific Coast–including the Confederated Tribes of Siletz, Confederated Tribes of

Native Wisdom: The People of Oregon’s Interior

Directed by Lawrence Johnson

Featuring several of Oregon’s interior tribes, including the Confederated Tribes of Umatilla Reservation, Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, and Confederated

Genres: Documentary

Appears in: Native Wisdom Films



The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.