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Walnut Creek Preserve Speaker Series: A screening and discussion of the new, local documentary, “Nature’s Wisdom Thru Native Eyes”

April 20 @ 10:30 am - 12:00 pm

Date: April 20, 2024

Time: 10:30 a.m.

Location: Anne Elizabeth Suratt Nature Center at Walnut Creek Preserve

Speaker: David Weintraub, award-winning documentary filmmaker and executive director of the Center for Cultural Preservation

When storytelling, native wisdom and nature’s intelligence converge, something beautiful can arise.  That’s the theme of this new film that documents the Cherokees connection to nature.

According to Cherokee elder, storyteller and mask-maker Davy Arch, “We were trying to stay connected to the natural world because we realized that everything that was connected to it thrived, so we understood that if we would stay connected to it, we would be prosperous as well.” Arch is one of several native elders featured in the film discussing how for over 10,000 years storytelling connected the tribe to nature and to each other, the use of medicinal plants, and how the native approach that focuses finding connections can help all of us heal our broken relationship with the living world.

Film Director David Weintraub elaborates that what struck him most of all while working with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and half a dozen other native tribes is their sophisticated approach in seeing the connections between history, culture and nature.  “In the western tradition, humans are considered to be at the top of the hierarchy, with animals and plants far below.  But native people instead believe that since humans were the last to come and have the least experience on how to live, they must turn to plants and animals as their teachers.  By looking at the living world that way, it transforms us and how we view the living world.  Instead of nature being our conquest, it becomes our partner.”

Nature’s Wisdom integrates native storytelling and philosophy with cutting edge science that’s now discovering that what native people have been saying about the intelligence of nature for thousands of years is actually true!  According to Weintraub, “Recent research confirms that trees have a highly intelligent way of communicating with each other, sharing resources and warning each other of potential hazards.  Many animals use tools, and communicate with each other in ways that we never thought possible before.  And yet native stories and wisdom has observed these behaviors for thousands of generations.”

We acknowledge that though we are the current stewards, the land where we live and work is stolen land. Homeland of the Cherokee, the Yuchi, and the Catawba people, acquired through genocide and forced removal. Weintraub is not a part of the Cherokee community but will share the knowledge he has gained by creating this documentary and through interviews with native people, helping to preserve their culture and history. 

*Walnut Creek Preserve is private property and guests are only allowed on the property by invitation (a planned event or scheduled group).  Thank you.

The Walnut Creek Preserve Speaker Series programs are made possible thanks to our partnership with the Preserve.

*Walnut Creek Preserve is private property and guests are only allowed on the property by invitation (a planned event or scheduled group).  Thank you.

Contact Pam Torlina, [email protected], with questions or for more information.


April 20
10:30 am - 12:00 pm
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Anne Elizabeth Suratt Nature Center at Walnut Creek Preserve
179 Wood Thrush Lane
Mill Spring, NC 28756 United States
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