Seedcast episode featuring Sungai Utiks Indigenous Peoples earns an honorable mention at the 2024 Webby Awards


Sungai Utik
Photo provided and used under permission by Dayak Iban Menua Sungai Utik
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Seedcast Episode Featuring Sungai Utik's Indigenous Peoples Earns an Honorable Mention at the 2024 Webby Awards

April 17, 2024

Nia Tero’s podcast episode tells the story of how the Dayak Iban People won a fight for their forest in Indonesia through the perspective of a young Indigenous filmmaker.

We are thrilled to share that the Seedcast podcast episode featuring the Dayak Iban People of Sungai Utik has been recognized with an honorable mention in the category ‘Best Podcast, Arts & Culture, Individual Episode’ at the 2024 Webby Awards. 
The episode ‘The Omen Birds Still Sing in Sungai Utik’ from the third season of Seedcast tells the story of how this Indigenous People from Indonesia fought for their forest – and won.  
A member of the Wayfinders Circle, the Dayak Iban of Sungai Utik have demonstrated their collective commitment and unity to defend their ancestral territories for decades while practicing local management traditions.   
In this special Seedcast episode, Kynan Tegar, a Dayak Iban filmmaker from Sungai Utik, shares excerpts from his film, which he describes as a “love letter” to the forest and river he grew up with.  
The clips feature village elders explaining how they heeded the warnings of the omen birds to ward off those who would endanger their forests and way of life.  
“(This film) is sort of like my own personal love letter to the forest, the place where I grew up climbing the trees, swimming the currents, and I wanted to tell it in the most personal and intimate way possible. The stories of what the forest means to us, to our community, to our people—and to me specifically—in the fight that we had to go through, to protect it”, said Kynan during the podcast. 
Nature ‘As Our Own Bodies’

Sungai Utik is a Dayak Iban Group in Kapuas Hulu, West Kalimantan, Indonesia. As Indigenous guardians of the territory they have inhabited since time immemorial, they treat nature “as if it is our own bodies.”  

“‘The land is our mother. The forest is our father. And the river is our blood.’ It’s a saying that I’ve heard so many times growing up, and even now my grandpa still says it all the time. That is the way we, the Iban people, live and how we perceive nature — as something that’s part of ourselves”, said Kynan. 

The Dayak Iban Sungai Utik have a customary spatial system of resource conservation and management guided by strict customary rules. These have been proven effective in maintaining the sustainability of the ecosystems in their territory, including forests, wetlands, and the Sungai Otik river. 
Their cultural practices of cooperation, reciprocity with nature, and sustainable use and management of resources make them an exemplary model and icon among other Indigenous Peoples. 
The Wayfinders Circle is an alliance of 15 Indigenous Peoples from around the world standing at the frontlines of guardianship. They protect their lands, waters, and territories, guided by ancestral knowledge transmitted from one generation to the next. The conveners of the Wayfinders Circle are Nia Tero, the Pawanka Fund, and the World Union of Indigenous Spiritual Practitioners. 
Seedcast is a story-centered podcast produced by Nia Tero that digs up, nurtures, and roots stories of the Indigenous experience from around the world.  
The episode ‘The Omen Birds Still Sing in Sungai Utik’ was hosted by Jessica Ramirez, produced and audio mixed by Jenny Asarnow, and edited by Nils Cowan.  
More Seedcast and Wayfinders Circle Collaborations: 

The Boat of Dreams: How the Achuar Embraced Solar Power  

Meet the Gabbra People of East Africa Pt 1  

Tuhaymani’chi Pal Waniqa (The Water Flows Always) in the Mojave Desert 

The Sacred Essence of Blackfoot Culture