Film poster for "Inhabitants: Indigenous Perspectives On Restoring Our World" with four people in middle of grasslands.
Film poster for "Inhabitants: Indigenous Perspectives On Restoring Our World" with four people in middle of grasslands.
Indigenous perspectives on environmental stewardship and resilience in a changing world


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AUDIENCE CHOICE AWARD - DC Environmental Film Festival In The Nations Capital (DCEFF) | OFFICIAL SELECTION - National Museum of the American Indian's Native Cinema Showcase | HIGHLY RECOMMENDED - Educational Media Reviews Online (EMRO)

American Studies • Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Engagement • Environment, Sustainability & STEM • Native American & Indigenous Studies

Date of Completion: 2021 | Run Time: 76 minutes​​ | Language: English | Captions: Yes | Includes: Transcript & Study Guide | Directors: Costa Boutsikaris & Anna Palmer | Producer: Ben-Alex Dupris, Miniconjou Lakota

INHABITANTS: INDIGENOUS PERSPECTIVES ON RESTORING OUR WORLD follows five Native American communities as they restore their traditional land management practices in the face of a changing climate. For millennia Native Americans successfully stewarded and shaped their landscapes, but centuries of colonization have disrupted their ability to maintain these processes. From deserts, coastlines, forests, mountains, and prairies, Native communities across the US are restoring their ancient relationships with the land. The five stories include sustaining traditions of Hopi dryland farming in Arizona; restoring buffalo to the Blackfeet reservation in Montana; maintaining sustainable forestry on the Menominee reservation in Wisconsin; reviving native food forests in Hawaii; and returning prescribed fire to the landscape by the Karuk Tribe of California. As the climate crisis escalates, these time-tested practices of North America's original inhabitants are becoming increasingly essential in a rapidly changing world.

Educational Media Reviews Online (EMRO) | Lauren Stieglitz, Science Liaison Librarian, University of Alberta
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED "Inhabitants is a very well-constructed and well filmed documentary that would be valuable to Indigenous studies, environmental sciences or agriculture courses."

Booklist OnlineCandace Smith
"In a time of global warming, raging fires, and rampant storms, this thought-provoking program turns for answers to the people who have been keepers of the earth for thousands of years ... With its subjects filmed at work in their fields, tending the bison, or processing lumber, [Inhabitants] makes a strong case for melding Native ways with modern agricultural practices."

| Arty Mangan, Bioneer
Inhabitants shines a bright and respectful light on what may be the world’s best chance for pulling back from the edge of ecological disaster.”

"The wisdom of the original inhabitants is finally being heard"

Local News Matters
“Inhabitants: An Indigenous Perspective”: In Costa Boutsikaris’ and Anna Palmer’s important feature, we’re reminded yet again how the original stewards and guardians of the land — Native Americans — came up with so many practices that we are finally heeding so we can protect the planet and allow it to thrive. From innovations in farming to controlled burns, “Inhabitants’” shows how numerous Indigenous traditions and ways of being are now being emulated in a land that is continually hurting.”

Our Quad Cities | Linda Cook
"This is a movie about a return to wisdom to help the Earth thrive."


Ben-Alex Dupris is an enrolled member of the Colville Confederated Tribes, where he grew up. Over the years he has worked in commercial entertainment, tribal language preservation, youth media training, and most recently, documenting front-line environmental activism. His is currently a 2018 Concordia Studios Artist-In-Residence, headed by Academy-Award winner Davis Guggenheim. He is also newly awarded a prestigious 2018 Firelight Impact Producer's Fellow, 2017 Sundance Institute "Rauschenburg" Producer's Fellow, and a 2016 Redford Center Grantee for the project formerly named Oceti Sakowin.

Dr. Michael Kotutwa Johnson of the Hopi Tribe, is a PhD in Natural Resources and traditional Hopi dryland farmer – a practice of his people for over two millennia. His work includes lecturing about dryland farming and breaking down barriers for indigenous farmers working with the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).



Anna Palmer has been researching climate change on tribal areas in the American Southwest for three years. She has developed strong working relationships with tribal members and research partners affiliated with the Native Waters on Arid Lands (NWAL) project funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)- National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).



Costa Boutsikaris shot, directed and edited his first feature Documentary in 2013 entitled INHABIT: A Permaculture Perspective. This film explored ecological design solutions across the Northeast US and premiered in 2015 and has screened in over 30 countries and 25 film festivals winning multiple awards. Since Being released in 2021 his latest feature film INHABITANTS has Won the AUDIENCE CHOICE AWARD at the DC Environmental Film Festival and the BEST INTERNATIONAL FEATURE AWARD at the Planet In Focus Festival.