Distributor:  Global Environmental Justice
Length:  8 minutes
Date:  2021
Genre:  Expository
Language:  Indonesian; English / English subtitles
Color/BW:  Color
Closed captioning available


Curator imageLaura Miller, Applied ethicist and instructor, Southwestern Illinois College, St. Louis Community College, Fontbonne University, and Webster University

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Homecoming: Indigenous youth return to the land

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* New title added January 2023 *

If Not Us Then Who?  Film 4 of 7 

Indonesian Indigenous youth, aware of global warming and concerned about the future, return from the cities to their villages with plans for reforestation, organic farming and cultural revival.

Homecoming: Indigenous youth return to the land

If Not Us Then Who? Film 4 of 7 (8:20) 2021
Homecoming: Indonesian Indigenous Youth Return to the Community

This is one of seven short films about sustainable living in the forests of Indonesia, Costa Rica and Brazil. Taken together, they tell a story of oppression, resistance, accomplishments, and confidence for the future.

Please download the teacher's guide for maps, background information, suggested subjects, questions and activities.

"The task of Indigenous youth is to identify the potential that exists in our Indigenous territories."

Many of the Indigenous youth in Indonesia have left their communities to study in the cities. Yet after their studies they have chosen to remain there rather than return home to their traditional lives. But the threat to their communities posed by deforestation, pollution, and land grabbing is giving rise to a homecoming movement. Their concern is that if the youth do not protect and manage their territories, who will?

As they return, they are bringing with them plans to use the land for herbal gardens and organic farming. As a result, land that had lain dormant could now be farmed in a new way. At the same time, their communities are exploring ecotourism, coffee plantations, keeping sheep, and replanting damaged forests with new seedlings. This new generation is aware of global warming and the harm it poses to their way of life and future generations, and they recognize how important it is to protect their territories and the planet.


Other titles in the If Not Us Then Who? Collection:
4. Homecoming: Indonesian Indigenous Youth Return

Download the Teacher's Guide


00:00:20.320 --> 00:00:22.760
One of the ladies last night who sat with us

00:00:22.760 --> 00:00:26.960
we asked her questions, what is the secret of happiness?

00:00:26.960 --> 00:00:30.800
She said the secret of happiness is togetherness.

00:00:30.800 --> 00:00:35.120
Everything you do together - you eat together,
you drink together

00:00:35.120 --> 00:00:38.240
you talk together, and face to face

00:00:38.240 --> 00:00:39.760
not hiding things behind.

00:00:46.480 --> 00:00:49.080
Actually, indigenous youth,

00:00:49.080 --> 00:00:52.920
they went from the community to study in the cities

00:00:52.920 --> 00:00:56.600
and after the studies, they stay in the cities.

00:01:06.320 --> 00:01:09.640
My name is Indra Piri

00:01:09.640 --> 00:01:12.880
from the Ro'ong Ampreng Community.

00:01:12.880 --> 00:01:16.920
I am 33 years old.

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If we live in a city, it's hot, traffic jams.

00:01:32.800 --> 00:01:35.160
Add pollution.

00:01:35.160 --> 00:01:39.600
In the city the needs are not met.

00:01:41.240 --> 00:01:42.600
You’re half dead.

00:01:49.200 --> 00:01:53.040
That's why we prefer to go home.

00:02:06.560 --> 00:02:11.680
You can eat healthy, nutritious food.

00:02:14.720 --> 00:02:19.720
This is my garden which I am working on

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and currently I am growing tomatoes
with my mother and father.

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What I feel when I finish cultivating
the garden at harvest time...

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What I feel is uh, happy, happy

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because I enjoy the results of my own sweat.

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For me, the land is the source of life.

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The mother.

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Indigenous peoples have a big concern about,
what can we do as the youth

00:03:07.560 --> 00:03:10.920
to help protecting and managing our territories.

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Because land grabbing happens everywhere and the environment is already damaged.

00:03:16.880 --> 00:03:21.440
Everywhere in Indonesia oil palm plantations
already damage our territories.

00:03:21.440 --> 00:03:23.920
So they were thinking the only thing we can do is

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we should start a homecoming movement.

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We should call all our colleagues

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our indigenous youth who are in the cities

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who are students and finished their school already

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to return back to their communities.

00:03:44.720 --> 00:03:49.960
And they were thinking, if not us,
who will protect our territories?

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Who will manage our territories?

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The task of indigenous youth is to identify the potential

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that exists in our indigenous territories.

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At the beginning the elders, when the youth came to them,

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and asked permission to use the land

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for herbal gardens or organic farming

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the elders were like, are you serious?
You want to do this?

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But the youth said, please trust us, we can do this.

00:04:27.440 --> 00:04:31.760
And they started, and they gave evidence to the elders.

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And the elders, when they saw it, they were like, wow!

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This land that we didn’t use before, now it’s become

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huge organic farming

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and it’s really bringing excitement
and happiness in the community.

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In addition to developing ecotourism and coffee plantations

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indigenous youth have initiated

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1,000 sheep pens in each community garden

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one million ginger and one million galangal.

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We are targeting 150,000 seedlings in the next three years

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to be planted in our forests.

00:05:21.440 --> 00:05:25.120
We are in the climate emergency right now

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and what the indigenous youth do by this
homecoming movement initiative

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is set an example of real action.

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Every time we have photos sent by the youth
from the community, saying that

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oh today, you know, we are harvesting

00:05:55.400 --> 00:06:00.920
and they send us photos of the tomatoes,
the onions, and everything

00:06:00.920 --> 00:06:03.960
huge, and they’re ready for market.

00:06:03.960 --> 00:06:07.560
We’re so happy. I’m so happy, really, seriously

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I feel like...

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this is a real thing.

00:06:13.200 --> 00:06:16.040
That is the problem when we are living in the cities -

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sometimes when we do our work

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sometimes it feels like it’s endless work

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that we don’t really know what is real about this.

00:06:26.440 --> 00:06:28.120
But when we see this...

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real things on the ground...

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we can feel it, we can touch, we can see.

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It makes you really excited and
I feel so excited about this and

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I feel hope.

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If more and more indigenous youth
do the same things like this

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I think we can save our planet.

00:06:48.840 --> 00:06:51.760

00:07:38.080 --> 00:07:41.760
Indigenous Youth, Rise Up, Unite
and Manage our territories!

No reviews available.


Main credits

Redman, Paul (film director)
Wuisan, Kalfein (film director)

Other credits

Edited by Lincoln Athas.

Distributor credits

Tim Lewis

Paul Redman, Kalfein Wuisan

Docuseek subjects

Indigenous Studies
Youth Issues
Sustainable Architecture
Forests and Rainforests
Cultural Anthropology
Climate Change
Conservation and Protection

Distributor subjects

No distributor subjects provided.


Film 4 Homecoming,Ro'ong Ampreng, organic gardening,agriculture,youth,tradition; "Homecoming"; Indonesia; Indigenous Studies; Youth Issues; Sustainable Architecture; Forests and Rainforests; Forestry; Ethnography; Cultural Anthropology; Sustainability; Pollution; Climate Change; Conservation and Protection;

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