Produced by Malinda Maynor and Christopher McLeod, ‘In the Light of Reverence’, is a documentary published in 2017. This documentary comprises of 3 stories based on 3 tribal nations: The Lakota Sioux, the Winnemem Wintu, and the Hopi.

Spoiler Alert

It also reflects upon their cultural relationships and their struggles to protect their 3 sacred sites: The Mount Shasta of the Winnemem Wintu, the Four Corners of the Hopi located in Arizona, and Devils Tower located in the Lakota Black Hills. These sites are fundamental to their spiritual duties of protecting their homelands and their thoughts about the world. Moreover, they have been controversial sites over different ideas of usage of land among non-Indians and American Indians.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn

Although, two of these sites were considered as material resources by rock climbers and New Age practitioners for purposes of recreation and industry. In a historical landscape, a new story of clashes between cultures has been shown by the battles among the New Age practitioners and the Native Americans. 

I think this movie genuinely fits in with the adequacy of the protections afforded American Indian religious freedom. Moreover, it also presents a push to American society towards Christianity and monotheistic and popular religions. It was considered by non-native Americans that the economy can get affected if the industrial activities are stopped in these sacred sites, although all the religious traditions of Native Americans were legalized by the American Indian Religious Freedom Act of 1978.

In the movie, there is a scene where a woman claimed that Native American religion is not a real religion as it is not carried out in Church. Although, this religion is not spiritual but recreational. Disrespectful actions and misunderstandings are led by a lack of understanding between the groups as seen in the documentary. I think that although this specific group had true and relevant opinions the manner in which they were expressed could have been enhanced in learning of accepting the religion in a better way.