A Matter of Respect

Modern Alaska Natives balancing the past and present
Year Released
Film Length(s)
30 mins
Remote video URL


In this stereotype-breaking documentary about the meaning of tradition and change people speak frankly about the challenges they face balancing their lives in two cultures.

Featured review

A Matter of Respect has practical significance for achieving a more harmonious life in our culturally diverse communities.
Richard K. Nelson
Anthropologist and Author, "Make Prayers to the Raven"


A young drummer and dancer guides tourists through a museum, a silver carver/disc jockey talks about his love both of rock and roll and traditional carving, and a Tlingit elder teaches children at a summer fish camp. A Matter of Respect portrays a diverse group of people expressing their culture and identity and honoring their ancestors' way of life through teaching language, harvesting and preparing traditional foods, restoring community cemeteries and dancing, carving and weaving.


Ideal for discussion, shows people are in the twentieth century, yet have history and it's alive and well.
Nora Marks Dauenhauer
Richard Dauenhauer Alaska State Writer Laureate, Poet and Scholar
Intercut among shots of traditional roles of dancers, weavers, fishermen, and cooks are scenes of Tlingit engaged in their own business corporations and pursuing modern day interests. Clear footage of the natural landscape backs these views and echoes the deep respect for nature evidenced in Tlingit traditions.
Nancy McCray
The documentary not only provides a rich source of information about Tlingit traditions, it is a thoughtful and provocative piece that raises critical issues about culture diversity and the challenges of modern life.
Nancy Putnam
Video Rating Guide for Libraries

Awards and Screenings

Silver Apple, National Educational Film and Video Festival
Finalist, Athens International Film Festival
Honorable Mention, Society for Visual Anthropology
Bilingual Multicultural Equity Conference
Two Rivers Native Film and Video Festival
American Indian Film and Video Festival

Promotional Material

Promotional Stills

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