Sounds of Life

An indigenous teenager who faces feelings of isolation finds hope – and herself – through a deeper appreciation for her culture.

Feeling alone and different can be socially isolating and lead to depression in young people. Follow this teenager as she learns to embrace the parts of her that isolate her. She finds herself and, in that discovery, is transformed by a deeper appreciation of her family and her culture, giving her a reason to TakeCare.

  • Having strong social supports can help us feel accepted, safe, and connected.
  • Encouraging children to study their heritage builds self-esteem and pride.
  • We can connect with our heritage through stories, photos, and family recipes.

Film details

Jeffrey Palmer

Becky Korman

Karen Kim

Additional Editing
Clayton Wolfolk, Julie Hwang

Shana Hagan, Jon Shenk

Sound Recordist
Hyun Lee, Adriano Bravo

Assistant Editor
Leah Goudsmit

Assistant Camera
Brian Suerth, Sandy Berkowitz

Drone Operator
Craig Peterschmidt, Picture Factory

Aerial Photography
Benjamin Alexander, Picture Factory

Marco D'Ambrosio

Leo Hallal, ZAP

Audio Engineer
Bijan Sharifi, BSA

Production Assistant
Matthew Branch

Post Production Supervisor for Actual Films
Riccardo Kovacs

How it All Ties Back to Whole Health

KhaLoni finds a sense of purpose by connecting to her culture. Once she does this, she becomes more confident in herself and is happier and healthier with a renewed passion for life.

While our experiences may be different from KhaLoni’s, we can all relate to that deep need for connection. It is an important part of our well-being. When we feel supported, we feel safe, loved, and happy.

The sense of ‘self’ and ‘purpose’ is vitally important to living in a healthy way.

Donald Warne, MD, MPH

Director of the Master of Public Health Program, North Dakota State University

The author of “Tibetan Yoga for Health & Well-being,” the Huffington Foundation endowed Director of the Jung Center’s Mind Body Spirit Institute, and a Senior Teacher of The 3 Doors, an international organization founded by Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche with the goal of transforming lives through meditation.

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Interview with Donald Warne, MD, MPH, Advisor for the Film

You can find your rhythm!
When we have a strong and sincere cultural connectedness, it helps people want to live in a healthy way and have hope. Donald Warne, MD, MPH

Q: In your opinion what do you believe is the most powerful message of the film? 


A: What I’ve seen, and what this film shows, is that when we have a strong and sincere cultural connectedness, it helps us want to live in a healthy way and have hope. I think for a lot of indigenous people, because we’re so outnumbered by other populations, we have a difficult time feeling like we belong. Particularly for young people, that sense of belonging is so important, and I think this film demonstrates one example of how our young people connect with their culture. The most powerful message in this film is that we need to facilitate cultural connectedness. 


Q. Can you explain why a connection to one’s culture can really help with the process of healing or improving our well-being?


A: The sense of “self” and “purpose” is vitally important to living in a healthy way. What I was taught from a very young age was that we need to understand our role as an individual. For me as a Lakota man, I ask myself: What is my role? What are my responsibilities in my family, in my community, and then in society? I think that in modern society, a lot of focus is on the “self” – what can I do to improve myself? What can I do to enrich myself? But from an indigenous perspective, it’s deeply ingrained in us to think: What can I do to improve the lives of my people? I think that when you have that sense of purpose, there’s a strong desire to be productive and healthy, to live and promote hope among others.


Q: Why is sharing your culture with others an important part of the process of rediscovering your identity? 


A: When I was in medical school and in residency, the phrase was “See one, do one, teach one.” When the mentee becomes the mentor, that’s when we really see growth. When we share something of ourselves or where we come from, what we are really doing is validating who we are.

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