“To look into the eyes of a wolf is to see your own soul.”
~ Aldo Leopold
Filmmaker Julia Huffman travels to Minnesota and into wolf country to pursue the deep intrinsic value of brother wolf and our forgotten promise to him.
UPDATE: We want to thank ALL of you, our most generous backers for helping us reach 59K!
We are also so very honored to be backed and supported by legendaries-Bonnie Raitt and Graham Nash.
Our plan is to make our film the high quality production that Medicine of the Wolf deserves. Please keep spreading the word! EVERY dollar HELPS. Thank you so very much.
Medicine of the Wolf will take viewers on a journey to understand the powerful relationship that we have with the wolf by interviewing prominent people who represent the different levels of connection to this ancient and iconic species - from Anishinaabe creation stories that reflect our interconnectivity to all things, to a lifetime of observations of a complex and dynamic family unit, to a wolf scientist expressing his layered findings in an over 50 year study of the delicate web that wolves weave into our ecosystem.
"Medicine of the wolf will inspire us to take another look at our most important connection to the wolf and ultimately to our own souls."
~ Brooks Fahy, Predator Defense
“A film like this could really not have come along at a more vital time for wolf conservation. Anti-wolf sentiments nearly led to the extermination of America’s wolves, and just when populations are starting to bounce back, wolves are being hunted and trapped at an alarming rate in several states as we speak, placing this iconic species in jeopardy once again.”
~ Colin McCormack, Manager of The Humane Society of the United State’s ACE program
A HISTORY - WOLF AND MAN
“Canis lupus, the wolf of my imagination and of the northern forest, did indeed roam Minnesota. Once the most abundant large predator on the continent, the wolf had virtually been eliminated from most places. Minnesota remained the only state among the lower 48 where a truly viable population existed.”
~ Jim Brandenburg, Author, BROTHER WOLF
There was once a time when wolves and humans co-existed in harmony. Before European interference, there were between 250,000 and 500,000 wolves that roamed the North American wilderness, giving inspiration and spiritual guidance to Native American tribes. This, however, did not stop the wolf from being labeled as a threat to be exterminated. Most inhumane was the use of poisons sanctioned by U.S. federal government initiatives during the 1950s and into the 1960s. In the majority of America and Canada, the grey wolf population either dwindled to near non-existent numbers, or was eradicated completely. In fact, by the 1970s, there were only approximately 700 wolves left in a remote part of the county - the BWCA-Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Northern Minnesota.
FROM ENDANGERED TO IN DANGER
After 40 years of protection, grey wolves were recently de-listed from the endangered species act, and their fate handed over to state legislatures. What ensued has been a “push to hunt” in Minnesota and wolf country across the U.S. In Minnesota, a survey of the wolf’s population conducted after the inaugural hunt last winter (2012) showed a drop of more than 700 animals - one in four wolves were reported killed, 298 by farmers/property owners and another 413 by hunting and trapping season. The total population declined by 25 percent. Of the nearly 1,700 wolves in the Rockies, 1,100 (65%) were killed in the last two years. Now, after the 2013 and 2014 wolf hunt, we have lost over one third of the total population in wolf states across the country. Currently, there are said to be 3,000 wolves in the lower 48 states.
Featured in the Film:
Regarded internationally as one of the greatest, nature photographers of our generation, Jim Brandenburg has spent over 44 years photographing wolves at his Minnesota wilderness home. For over three years he directed and filmed the BBC/National Geographic landmark wolf documentary White Wolf, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. He has published many bestseller books including Brother Wolf, White Wolf and Chased by the Light, to name a few. A National Geographic photographer for over 30 years, Brandenburg's work has appeared in nearly every important publication in the world; he has been interviewed on every major network on the continent. Brandenburg has been awarded numerous worldwide honors including twice receiving the prestigious NPPA Photographer of the Year; and he has been named a Nikon Legend Behind the Lens.
"I wanted to know this land, see how it functioned, learn of the wolf ’s role. You cannot do that without passion, for in wilderness is truth, and the truth of nature is full of passion, is all about chase and evasion, capture and death, blood and birth. If we fear these things, then it is no wonder we have long feared the wolf. It is nature’s truth. It is our truth."
~ Jim Brandenburg, Author, Brother Wolf
John A. Vucetich, PhD - Wolf Scientist
John A. Vucetich, Wolf Scientist, is the Director of the Isle Royale Wolf-Moose Study, the longest wolf-moose study covering 53 years of history. http://www.isleroyalewolf.org
John's work also focuses on the relationship between ecology, philosophy and ethics. He has authored more than 75 scholarly publications on a range of topics - including wolf-prey ecology, extinction risk, and the human dimensions of natural resource management.
Chi-Ma’iingan/Great Wolf (Larry Stillday) - Tribal Elder
We will visit with Chi-Ma’iingan/Great Wolf (Larry Stillday), Tribal Elder and cultural/spiritual advisor and teacher of the Ojibwe Red Lake Nation in Minnesota, a uniquely sovereign Indian reservation in the United States.
“The Medicine of the Wolf represents: Humility as well as Love, Loyalty, Perseverance, Courage, Stability, and Intuition. In nature, the wolf is the teacher of Humility. The wolf will bow its head not out of fear but out of Humbleness in our presence. When the wolf hunts for food it will take it back to the den for the others before it eats. Each wolf has a place in the whole and yet maintains its individual personality.”
~ Chi-Ma'iingan - the Ojibwe worldview through the teachings of the Seven Grandfathers
HOW YOUR MONEY WILL HELP
Our plan is to distribute the film as part of a campaign at various universities, wildlife centers, film festivals that have strong environmental and animal protection focus. We want to use the film as an education tool in smaller communities around the country and in wolf territory. It is our hope that you will assist us in coming to brother wolf’s side. Our ultimate goal is to distribute the film worldwide in all media, including television and theatrical release.
We need your support as we work to raise awareness and give wolves their sanctuary, once again. My hope for Medicine of the Wolf is to bring to the forefront of peoples hearts and minds the value and beauty of wolves, our similarities to them, and their importance in our ecosystem.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart,
Julia Huffman, Director
Risks and challenges
Production delays, while not likely, could occur due to the schedules of the folks that we will be interviewing for the film (people like Jim Brandenburg, Louise Erdrich, James Taylor, for example). BUT, even if an interviewee becomes unavailable, Medicine of the Wolf will get finished. Additionally, we will overshoot footage so that we can assemble the best feature film documentary possible.
Regarding the rewards, we have hired a consultant who has overseen fulfillment on other Kickstarter campaigns, so we know our delivery dates are reasonable.
We will be sending regular updates to all of our backers, so you will be the first to know what's happening with the project!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)