Director ANDRE LEWIS
Short| USA | 20 m
HARVEST: QUYURCIQ Yup’ik fur sewer and hunter Peter Williams is among a handful of young Natives today whose professional, cultural and spiritual lives are seamlessly interwoven. In a poetically just twist, he harvests and crafts the fur of the same marvelous animal that motivated Russia’s colonization of Alaska over 250 years ago: the sea otter. Colonial desire for otter furs brought multi-generational trauma to Alaska’s indigenous peoples, and near-extinction to the otters themselves. But with otter populations revitalized in Southeast Alaska today, the respectful and sustainable harvest of these creatures keeps coastal Natives healthy, empowered, and inherently connected to Place. The film documents Peter’s efforts to perpetuate the practice of sea otter harvest among increasingly-mainstreamed Alaska Native youth, and to clear up misconceptions among the non-Native public about Native ties to marine mammals.