Hi everyone. We’re very excited to announce the world premiere of Saging the World on Earth Day, Friday, April 22 at the Warner Grand Theatre is San Pedro. The screening will include a panel discussion with Native advocates from the film, as well as a white sage plant giveaway.
The short documentary was produced by Rose Ramirez, David Bryant, Deborah Small, and the California Native Plant Society to foster awareness and inspire action for white sage. More information about the Saging the World premiere, the project, and tickets here: California Native Plant Society
California Native people and others have been working tirelessly for decades to stop the destruction and cultural appropriation of white sage, Salvia apiana. With the exponential growth of an international market for white sage fueled by social media, even areas such as the North Etiwanda Preserve, where protections are in place, are being decimated by large-scale theft.
White sage fields are now sacrifice zones for the global commodification of the plant. Native friends have referred to this reckless exploitation of white sage as “rustling, “poaching,” and “trafficking.” Some are finding their traditional gathering grounds destroyed. The late Tongva elder Barbara Drake called this “the desecration.”
Barbara Drake: The Etiwanda Preserve is a place where Tongva, Serrano, Cahuilla, Luiseño, and other tribes have come together to gather white sage for spiritual, medicinal, and ceremonial use. Our coming together is what bonds us to the land and to each other. Today we walk in the footsteps of our ancestors, and it is up to us to help preserve these existing white sage stands for future generations.
Craig Torres, Tongva elder: If we don’t fight to protect the plants and to protect the land, they’re no longer there for us. The connection to who we are as a people has everything to do with the plants.
We hope that Saging the World will play a role in helping to preserve stands of white sage and protect the land for the future generations of all species. Our documentary is dedicated to Barbara Drake, who so deeply inspired us.
To read more about what is happening with white sage, you can read Saging the World, first published in News from Native California.