Teachings of the Tree People: The Work of Bruce Miller

"The trees were our first teachers."
Year Released
Film Length(s)
58 mins
Remote video URL


Nationally acclaimed artist and Skokomish tribal leader Gerald Bruce Miller (subiyay) interpreted the sacred teachings of the natural world for anyone who wanted to learn. A passionate student of traditional culture, Bruce became the bearer of the language, oral history, art, and spirituality of the tuwaduq (Twana) and Southern Coast Salish peoples. This gentle and generous film documents his race against time and ailing health to pass the knowledge of his ancestors on to those who would listen.

Featured review

Well researched and superbly produced, this documentary is truly successful in sharing native reality and environmental knowledge with many people.
Professor Donald L. Fixico
Distinguished Foundation Professor of History, Arizona State University


This inspiring film will help young Native American students understand their culture's contributions to the larger society and develop a positive sense of identity.
Professor William Demmert
CREDE Center for Research on Education, Diversity & Excellence; Western Washington University, Woodring College of Education

Awards and Screenings

National Museum of the American Indian (Smithsonian Institution)
National Geographic All Roads Film Festival
Big Sky Documentary Film Festival
PBS National broadcast
"Best Feature Documentary" nominee American Indian Film Festival
Palm Springs Native American Film Festival
United Nations special presentation
Blue Ribbon, American Film & Video Festival
Bronze Apple, National Educational Film & Video Festival

Features and Languages

Film Features

  • Subtitles
  • Resources for Educators

Subtitle/Caption Languages

  • English

Promotional Material

Promotional Stills

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