The Gift

Director: Gary Farmer

Institute History


The Gift is a cross-country look at the reverence for corn in tribal culture. Filmmaker Gary Farmer travels from the Iroquois Haudeshonne of the Northeast to the Mayan of Chiapas, Mexico, to learn of the ancient and profound relationship between the people of the land and this sacred food source. Some tribal creation stories say the first human being was born of corn. The Cherokee revere maize as the Corn Mother, Selu. The Mayan traditionally believe they are made of corn. In Mexico, NAFTA threatens the southern Native’s right to raise corn, an issue that is central to the Zapatista movement. Farmer's film poetically interweaves dance, culture, and corn.

Gary Farmer, Director
Gary Dale Farmer, a Cayuga of the Wolf Clan, Ongwehoniwe, was born in Ontario on the Six Nations Reserve. In addition to directing, he has experience in film, television, theatre, and radio. He is currently starring in the film Smoke Signals and in the television pilot Justice. He is also the publisher of Aboriginal Voices magazine. In 1997 he was invited to show The Gift, his first film with the National Film Board, as a work in progress at Sundance.

— Heather Rae

Screening Details


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