A Community's Autobiography of Resistance and Renewal


MARCH 19-22, 2016   –   Free Interactive Public Event Series

Life Lines – A Community's Autobiography of Resistance and Renewal

A convergence in New Orleans to honor and protect preceding the Superdome No New Leases Action, Indigena invites you to a free, interactive public event series with:

  • Community Conversations

  • Film Screenings, and

  • Art Installations

All Events will be held at The Joy Theater, The New Orleans Healing Center and Café Istanbul.


Background on why we're hosting LIFE LINES 

2015 just went down as the hottest year on record. One would think, that after the Paris Climate Talks and Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan, that the United States decision makers would be heading down the right path and choosing a renewable energy future. Unfortunately, the fossil fuel industry is expanding. It is time to help New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, particularly the Indigenous communities that are now the United States’ first “climate refugees.”

11 years ago, the Superdome was the home of climate refugees after Hurricane Katrina; in 2016, it will host a huge oil and gas auction. On March 23rd 2016, the fossil fuel industry will hold a massive auction of offshore drilling rights to oil companies in the Superdome. The location could not be more inappropriate or ironic. In spite of the BP oil spill, the Gulf is being leased, again. Oil companies buying parcels do not need to consult the communities; they do not need an environmental review or impact study. They just get to buy the Gulf, and drill it, practically stealing our shared oil and gas resources at bargain basement prices. As landlord of our public land, the United States allows these greed stricken companies to exploit and contaminate while generating billions of dollars. This is not only a disservice to all taxpayers, it is the recipe for environmental and climate disaster.

While working to make sure no fossil fuel leases are offered, Indigena and its partners are innovatively collaborating with severely impacted frontline communities to navigate the complexities of adaptation to the irreversible impacts of climate change.


In February 2016, 80 miles from New Orleans, a coastal community has been named the United States first climate refugees. These Indigenous coastal communities are being forced to move from their ancestral land because of coastal erosion and a quickly rising sea-level.


The People's Fire

From the sunset on March 19th, the eve of the Spring Equinox, on through March 22nd, World Water Day, and into the sunrise on March 23, a fire is being lit for 4 days in honor of the water of life.

The People's Fire is to unite us in our resistance and renewal. The Indigenous people of the area used the fire to represent the law of peace, love and respect for life. The words and songs to the sacred fire gave thanksgiving to the plants, animals, the winds, the waters and to the earth with the belief that they are the ancestors. The medicines used in the ceremonies nourished the bodies for a balanced mind and spirit. The fire reveals the truths by the colors and movements from the resonance of sounds coming from individuals that are near. It is important to have love, faith, obedience and humility when an offering is given to the fire.

In our unified stance for the commons, the lighting of the fire will ignite our love for humanity and build upon the cultural knowledge of the people for a better future. This fire will be inclusive and welcomes the public to attend the sunrise ceremonies that will be facilitated by the Indigenous people. As it continues throughout 4 days, the evenings may create an open space for important dialog. 

Our collective intentions are to keep a continuous 4 day fire and then allowing it to burn out on that fourth day.


DAY PROGRAMMING  –  March 19-22

New Orleans Healing Center

The New Orleans Healing Center is a community center like no other, based on the United Nations guidelines for sustainability. A uniquely structured space to be able to simultaneously help, heal, and empower individuals and surrounding neighborhoods at the economic, social, environmental, physical/mental, and spiritual levels.

Café Istanbul

Café Istanbul is a 3,800 square feet performance hall, located in the back of the New Orleans Healing Center, with a mission of fostering, encouraging and promoting performance art.


Activities include:

Community-led Conversations, Film Screenings, and Art Installation


Evening Programming  –  March 21-22

The Joy Theater

The building stands as a symbol of the vibrant historic legacy of downtown New Orleans. It lives in the minds of generations of New Orleanians who fondly remember Canal Street as an essential component of their daily lives. In this sense the Joy is more than a theatre; it is a repository of memory, meaning and the shared experiences of a community.


Activities include:

Film Screening, Gathering and Celebration


Schedule of Activities

Saturday, March 19 - Spring Equinox

Theme: Bridging the Generations  – Community Workshops & Community Gatherings at The New Orleans Healing Center

7:00 AM - 9:00 AM

Sunrise Ceremony and Welcoming

9:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Community Breakfast Potluck & Talking Circle

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Earth Teachings

11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Youth Leadership Training: Reclaiming Democracy during a Presidential Election

Riki Ott facilitates a teaching on participatory democracy and youth leadership to engage a generation

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Air Teachings

12:30 PM - 2:00 pm

Youth Panel: Yes, I Sued the Government to Protect Us from Climate Change

Together with climate scientist Dr. James Hansen, youth change makers sued the US EPA for climate action and protection of our atmosphere as a public trust. Meet youth plaintiffs inspiring more leaders from the generation inheriting a climate legacy. 

Moderator:      Riki Ott
Panelists:        Jayden Foytlin, Youth Plaintiff
                      Madeleine MacGillivray Wallace, Youth Plaintiff, 5 Gyres Ambassador

                      James Hartwell, 350 Louisiana

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Fire Teachings

2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Water Teachings

4:00 PM - 5:30 pm

Standing Strong: Louisiana Communities Unite for Clean Air, Water, Land & Food

For decades, fossil fuel industries have had a stranglehold on our democracy and regulatory agencies. Learn what is being done to reinstate our rights and how to get involved from local citizens who are protecting Louisiana's environment and community health.

Moderator:    Jonathan Henderson, Vanishing Earth
Speakers:      (Ret.) Lieutenant General Honoré
                    John Barry
                    Andrew Jacoby, Esq.

Sunday, March 20 - First Day of Spring

Theme: Seeding the Wisdom  –  Community Workshops & Community Gatherings at the New Orleans Healing Center


7:00 AM - 9:00 AM

Sunrise Ceremony

11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Community Open Space

1:00 PM

Fierce Green Fire

Playing throughout the day in between programming.

3:00 PM - 4:30 pm

The Gulf Coast Protectors: The Gulf Monitoring Consortium

The Gulf Monitoring Consortium (GMC) is a rapid response alliance that scouts, documents and reports evidence from space, the air, and from the surface Gulf Coast pollution incidents they expose. Learn what it takes from local environmental watchdogs and how you can get involved in the community team.

Moderator:    Jonathan Henderson, Vanishing Earth
Speakers:      Scott Eustis
                    Meredith Dowling
                    Paul Orr

5:30 PM – 7:00 pm

Sunday Dinner Community Potluck

Monday, March 21 - Stronger Together

Theme: Cultivating Community For Radical Healing And Climate Justice

How to Let Go & Love Tour Launch & Film Screening


At the New Orleans Healing Center:

7:00 AM - 9:00 AM

Sunrise Ceremony


My Louisiana Love

Playing throughout the day in between programming.

12:30 PM - 2:00 pm

It’s Personal: Climate Injustice and Faces of Fossil Fuel

We honor and join fossil fuel community activists fighting oil, fracking, tar sands and coal to diminish isolation, and bridge to leverage national momentum and reject a fossil fuel future.

Moderator:    Janet MacGillivray
Panelists:      Paul Corbitt Brown, Keepers of the Mountains
                    Aria Doe, The Action Center
                    Josh Fox, Director and Activist

                    Ben Yahola, Indigena Director EKVNA (Earth Keepers Voices for Native America)
                    Margie Vicknair-Pray, Voices of St. Tammany: Against Fracking

3:00 PM - 4:30 pm

Healing Our Path: Environmental Justice

In Louisiana where the petrochemical industry reigns supreme, towns like Mossville and St. Rose, and neighborhoods like the lower ninth ward of New Orleans are on the front line against environmental injustice and racism. Hear from those directly impacted as well as those doing the hard work to try right decades of abuse.

Moderator:    Jonathan Henderson, Vanishing Earth
Speakers:      Maria Harmon
                    Darryl Malek Wiley
                    Robert Green Sr.
                    Chuck Perkins

At The Joy Theater:

6:00 PM - 10:00 pm

How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can't Change
Film Screening & Community Conversations with Oscar-nominated filmmaker Josh Fox. His celebrated film was an Official Selection of 2016 Sundance Film Festival and won the Environmental Stewardship award at the Washington DC Environmental Film Festival.

Tuesday, March 22 - World Water Day

Theme: Water: Our Life Line  –  Honoring 50 Years of Gulf Resistance & Leadership


At the New Orleans Healing Center:

7:00 AM- 9:00 AM

Sunrise Ceremony


Above All Else

Playing throughout the day in between programming.

12:30 PM - 2:00 pm

Women and Water: Protection of Lifelines

Following a moment honoring for women we lost to violence, join a vibrant discussion of women who stand for water and all life.

Moderator:     Paula Horne-Mullen, Indigena Community Program Director, Wodakota Dream
Panelists        Jane Kleeb, Bold Nebraska
                     Kim Ross, Rethink Energy Florida
                     Cherri Foytlin, Bridge the Gulf
                     Maryellen Baker, Water Walker
                     Monique Verdin, My Louisiana Love


2:30 PM - 4:30 pm

Water Ceremony

Rainbow Bridge, Crescent Park
Parking and entrance to Crescent Park on Chartres St. and Piety St. at Rainbow Bridge


LOCATION OF water ceremony:

6:00 PM - 10:00 pm

Honoring 50 Years of Gulf Resistance Community Gathering 
On World Water Day, Gulf Coast frontline communities are coming together for a historical evening of strength and resistance – to gather in honor of the generations who have stood and continue to stand for the equity, health and wellbeing of their cultural heartlands.


Community Conversation Sponsors

Indigena thanks local support, Sandy Rosenthal and Huber/Slack/Thomas & Marcelle LLP for sponsoring our Community Conversations at the New Orleans Healing Center. 


Our Partnerships

Indigena thanks our partners The Joy Theater, New Orleans Healing Center, International WOW Company,  Vanishing EarthGulf Restoration Network, and Café Istanbul for their incredible support.


March 19

The New Orleans Healing Center

Community Conversations

Film Screenings



March 20


Community Conversations

Film Screenings

Sunday Dinner Potluck


March 21


Community Conversations

Film Screenings


The Joy Theater

Josh Fox's How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can't Change


March 22


Community Conversations

Film Screenings



Honoring 50 Years of Gulf Resistance Community Gathering