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Hei Whakakitenga – The Declaration of Indigenous Cinema

We the Indigenous screen storytellers
United in this northern corner of our mother, the earth 
In a great assembly of wisdom we declare to all nations: 

We glory in our past:

when our earth was nurturing our oral traditions 

when night sky evoked visions animated in our dreams 

when the sun and the moon became our parents in stories told 

when storytelling made us all brothers and sisters 

when our stories fostered great chiefs and leaders 

when justice was encouraged through the stories told 

We will:

hold and manage Indigenous cultural and intellectual property 

be recognised as the primary guardians and interpreters of our culture 

respect Indigenous individuals and communities 

nourish knowledge from our traditions to modern screen appearance 

use our skills to communicate with nature and all living things 

through screen storytelling heal our wounds 

through modern screen expression carry our stories to those not yet born 

And thus through motion pictures, we will make the invisible visible again.


We vow to manage our own destiny and recover our complete humanity in pride in being Indigenous screen storytellers.


Created by Åsa Simma (Sámi), with Darlene Johnson (Dunghutti). Accepted at the Indigenous Film Conference in Kautokeino, Sápmi, October 2011.