Throughout history, corn has played an important role for humans as a source of food. For Native people, it has special importance. This one, simple agricultural product holds the key to their history, culture, spirituality, economy, environmental concerns and health issues.

Harvesting a Heritage: The Story of Ganondagan’s Iroquois White Corn Project┬átakes us on a journey that started 10,000 years ago. Through historic narrative and images, vibrant interviews and beautiful footage we explore how white corn shaped the everyday lives of the Iroquois people. We discover how its destruction almost eliminated them. And we learn how its reintroduction through Friends of Ganondagan’s efforts can help revitalize their culture, their language, reinvigorate their health, and bring economic health to the former site of a Seneca Village of 4500 Onondowahgah, or People of the Great Hill in Victor, NY.

Harvesting a Heritage is important on many levels. On the surface, it is about Iroquois White Corn. Yet, the underlying topics are more complex. One goal for this film is to be an educational tool for high school, college and beyond. By focusing on an agricultural product to which everyone can relate, viewers come to know the Seneca people better. We develop respect for and understanding of their ways of life, past and present.

This is a film about nutrition and health issues at a time when obesity and diabetes are concerns. It sheds a light on racism at a time when hatred is on the rise, and acts of violence are perpetrated against Native people in disputes of oil over environment. Most important, it is a film about overcoming adversity, and the inspirational story of a people who remained and sustained their values.

Harvesting a Heritage…Coming in Fall 2019.

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