The Healing Heart of Lushootseed

The Healing Heart of Lushootseed tells the extraordinary story of how a diminutive great-grandmother tenaciously gathered support from unlikely corners for her most ambitious project yet, to heal the heart of the world. Her mission, 1. Commission an original symphony that embodied the compassion and healing power of her ancestral culture, 2. Convince the Seattle Symphony to perform it, 3. Have the symphony performed around the world. “It’s a spiritual gift from my people, it comes in the form of symphony” - Vi “taqʷšəblu” Hilbert, Upper Skagit Tribal elder.

  • Jill La Pointe
  • Katie Jennings
  • John La Pointe
  • Jill K La Pointe
  • Vi Hilbert
    Key Cast
  • Bruce Ruddell
    Key Cast
  • Gerard Schwarz
    Key Cast
  • Jill La Pointe
    Key Cast
  • John Forsen
    Photography Producer
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Runtime:
    39 minutes 54 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    March 29, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    134,300 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Jill La Pointe

JILL LA POINTE earned her BA and master’s degree in social work at the University of Washington. She is an enrolled member of Upper Skagit Tribe in NW Washington state and is the granddaughter of the late Vi "taqʷšəblu" Hilbert (an international storyteller). Jill has worked with both tribal and non-tribal agencies that serve Native youth and families. Her experience ranges from being a direct service provider as a Mental Health Therapist, Training supervisor, and Instructor to Management and Administration. Currently, Jill is the Director of Lushootseed Research (LR), a nonprofit founded by her grandmother in 1983, dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the Lushootseed language and culture. Under Jill's leadership, LR continues to fulfill its mission, by providing educational publications and support for numerous language programs throughout Puget Sound. In addition, LR has successfully hosted an annual Lushootseed language conference at Seattle University since 2010. She draws strength and healing from her work with Lushootseed Research and envisions a day when all people who visit or live in Seattle and the surrounding area will be able to see and hear the beautiful Lushootseed language and learn and grow from the rich traditional culture and values of the first people of this land.

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Director Statement

Making this film was truly a labor of love to honor our beloved late grandmother. There is still so much pain and suffering in our world that could benefit from the gift of healing. My grandmother's vision and her tenacity serve as an inspiring example, to never give up on your dreams and desires to help make the world a better place.