While there are normally 6 or 7 key dimensions of wellness, it’s time to introduce a new one, “Inter-species Social Wellness” with this preview of an upcoming film in Albuquerque this Saturday, October 29, “Stories of Wolves — The Lobo Returns”, and an interview with its creator, Albuquerquean Elke Duerr, who hopes her movie will help build a better connection between man and nature.
Then, next week, we will provide a review of that film, which we are confident will be very favorable, especially for people who feel sympathy for the decimation of the Mexican gray wolf or who just love animals. Just as was the case with Albuquerque favorite Aldo Leopold (who is considered by many to be the father of wildlife management and of the United States wilderness system), Elke Duerr’s love for wolves was born when, as a girl, she heard about man’s dislike and rampant killing of wolves“How dare they have done that, because now I will never meet them!”she said. “They have taken something away. And I said, ‘I’ll bring them back!’”
Because wolves kill livestock, some ranchers see them as a threat to their livelihood and have vehemently opposed the wolf’s reintroduction program, which has had its starts and stops in the Southwest over the last 30 years, when a large number of Mexican Gray Wolves have been killed, trapped and relocated. Though numbers have fluctuated, there are now 41 known Mexican gray wolves in the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area along the New Mexico-Arizona-Mexican border.
Duerr said her film, while full-heartedly advocating for wolves, presents all sides of the controversy and will include the positions of ranchers and hunters. The film examines views of wolves in various cultures, including Native American. “The Native American cultures say the wolf is our teacher,” she said. “Our Brother wolf because we learned from him how to raise a family and how to hunt. They are so much like us…” Wolves are predators, and often still are portrayed as a danger to man. But Duerr said her research has not revealed a case of a healthy wolf attacking a human.
A Native American Wolf Blessing
“May Wolf ever walk beside you and grant you rest in his shadow.
May his paws ever guide your paths and your howls be heard by all.”
In addition to shooting her film, Elke conducts outreach programs to educate the public about wolves and is involved with a nonprofit, the Web of Life Foundation, a 501(c)(3), “dedicated to a healthy coexistence between wilderness and civilization, the reconnection of humans to the natural world and the recovery of endangered plant and animal species.”
INTERVIEW WITH ELKE DUERR
1. knotmove.com: How can a person support your project other than by attending your film?“Contact me for volunteer work on projects, outreach, film screenings at [email protected],We are currently in need of frequent flyer miles. Also: If people would like to donate, there is an opportunity under: “contact” on the website: www.weboflifefoundation.net.
2. knotmove.com: Please tell me more about the Web of Life Foundation (W.O.L.F), including what other animal species you are now or intend to educate people about and to support their existence?“Currently we are working with the endangered river otters and wild horses of New Mexico. I am also teaching classes for children and adults on how to reconnect with nature and lose unnecessary fears towards wild animals and how to behave around them.
“I just wrote a course outline for a 6-week class on “Connecting with a changing environment” for adults that I offer at local community colleges, and I rewrote “Little Red Riding Hood.” It is now called “Lobo Girl-What really happened to Little Red Riding Hood in New Mexico.” We are currently raising funds to self-publish this children’s book so that we may give copies away to underprivileged youth around the state at outreach talks and classes.”
3. knotmove.com: What is your connection to Albuquerque? How long have you lived here?“I moved here in 1988 specifically to live somewhere where there is still wilderness and wild animals. Not specifically Albuquerque, but New Mexico… Also because I love the wide open spaces… It is my home.”
4. knotmove.com: Can a teacher or organization contact you to plan a presentation? “Yes: [email protected]”
5. knotmove.com: Please include anything else you would like to say.“Everyone’s actions have an effect on the Web of Life at any given moment. All things are interconnected, however small and insignificant we may deem them. It is important for each and every one of us to make a choice on where we stand in the Web of Life and where we want to go from here so that we may create a future for all life forms on this planet. We can find the solution in our human hearts: a Care for the Whole of Creation.”
- WHAT: “Stories of Wolves — The Lobo Returns”
- WHEN and WHERE: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29, at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, 2401 12th St. NW in Albuquerque. There will be a wolf blessing ceremony at 7 p.m.
- COST: Free. For more information, visit www.wildwolffilm.com