Christopher (Toby) McLeod


Christopher (Toby) McLeod

Project Director of Earth Island Institute’s Sacred Land Film Project since 1984. He produced and directed In the Light of Reverence (2001) and has made three other award-winning, hour-long documentary films that were broadcast on national television: The Four Corners: A National Sacrifice Area? (1983), Downwind/Downstream (1988), and NOVA: Poison in the Rockies (1990). In 1990, he produced Voices of the Land as a 20-minute preview of Standing on Sacred Ground. In 1997, he completed A Thousand Years of Ceremony, a 40-minute profile of Winnemem Wintu healer Florence Jones and her efforts to protect Mount Shasta as a sacred site for the Wintu—a film made specifically as an archival film for the use of the Wintu community. After 10 years of work, he completed In the Light of Reverence, which was broadcast in August 2001 on the acclaimed PBS documentary series P.O.V. (Point of View) and won a number of awards, including the Council on Foundation’s prestigious Henry Hampton Award (2005). His first film was the nine-minute short, The Cracking of Glen Canyon Damn—with Edward Abbey and Earth First! McLeod has a master’s degree in journalism from U.C. Berkeley and a B.A. in American History from Yale. He is a journalist who works in film, video, print and still photography. In 1985, McLeod received a Guggenheim Fellowship for filmmaking, and his U.C. Berkeley masters thesis film Four Corners won a Student Academy Award in 1983. Toby has been working with indigenous communities as a filmmaker, journalist and photographer for more than 35 years.

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Should tribes like the Shoshone and Arapaho attempt to bring back beautiful ancestral objects—drums, pipes, eagle wing fans, medicine bags, weapons, and ceremonial attire that ar