how the work will affect the world

This project has three significant core impact goals in relation to climate change; first, to empower viewers with new words that will affect positive behavioural changes regarding Nature in global cultures and simultaneously raise awareness of the importance of indigenous languages; second, to directly inform Panama’s governmental policy on climate change; and third, to work with partnering organisations such as Rights for Nature and the Earth Law Center to spread these new words and raise awareness of how we can all consciously curate our culture, and our language, to create a more climate just future. 

This project approaches the twin threats of climate change and indigenous language endangerment through a unique and ingenuitive approach – by bringing to life core language concepts of the familial connection with Nature that guide the Guna Yala way of life. The goal is for viewers to walk away from this film craving those words, those ways to speak to the inextricable link between the Guna Yala culture with the natural world. It has been proven that when we change the way we speak, whether or not we are consciously aware of it, our behaviours and beliefs too begin to change. It is through this untapped resource of language’s effect on human behaviours that this project aims to contribute new words, and therefore new ways of being, to the climate crisis, simultaneously with placing the indigenous Guna Yala language on a world stage. 

Two of this film’s core protagonists, Diwi Valiente and [need name], the only female Guna Yala senator in Panama’s government are both deeply dedicated to affecting policy change in Panama’s laws, tourism governance, and attitude towards Nature. This film and the traditional ecological and cultural knowledge documented during its filming will inform Panama’s 2023 policy review on tourism and climate change. 

One of this project’s advisory team, Callie Veelenturf, is also the Director of Rights for Nature, a non-profit organisation dedicated to empowering local people to lobby for and effect policy change in their governments. This film will be used and publicised by Rights for Nature as a showpiece that highlights the familial relationship of Nature with the Guna Yala indigenous community as further evidence of the need for Nature to be given legal rights in Panama and around the world. Furthermore, the Earth Law Center is also in support of this film and has agreed to promote and support the movement for environment-connected language change that this film aims to ignite. 

By seeking wisdom from indigenous language systems that are deeply connected with the environment, this project aims to add new vocabulary to world languages that supports the United Nations Development Goals targeted for 2030. This project uses field research, the emerging scientific field of ecolinguistics, and cutting-edge media to encourage everyone to think differently about ways to combat climate change, indigenous rights, and social equality.

Asset 27
We acknowledge & pay respects to past, present, & future
generations of all Native Nations & Indigenous Peoples,
to all traditional Custodians of Country on whose ancestral lands we live, learn, explore & play.
We recognise the sovereignty of First Nations peoples,
we celebrate their enduring connections to Country,
& give thanks to Elders & Ancestors caring for Country since time immemorial.