This River is Our Relative shares the deep, multi-layered connection between the people of the Penobscot Indian Nation and the Penobscot River, a waterway which flows through the tribe’s ancestral territory in what is now Maine.
Their story is told exclusively through interviews with over 20 Penobscot Tribal Members, four of whom were closely involved in producing the film. Their voices tell a story of strong historical, physical, and spiritual connection to place, of cultural identity, and of survival in the face of both historical and ongoing colonial abuse. The film highlights the Tribe’s dedication to environmental justice and efforts to fight dioxin and mercury pollution of the river, as well as legal threats to Tribal sovereignty affecting the Penobscot River, and tribal members' ongoing traditions of plant harvest and canoeing. It is time for the Penobscot story to be heard.