THEY NEVER LEFT: Indigenous Return and Reclamation in the Southeast

"We are our ancestor’s wildest dreams, and we are still here".

Some Indigenous people were never forced to leave what is now known as Alabama, and many across the continent are still intimately connected to their sacred homelands. Meet three Indigenous people who are answering their ancestor’s prayers to reclaim traditional lifeways, protect the environment, and teach us all how to better our relationships with the natural world and Native Nations.

As Alabamians, we all need to be more informed about the history of Native American lands and culture in our state. Please take the time to educate yourself by reaching out to members of Indigenous communities. Learn more about Hummingbird Springs Farm by visiting

About the Director

Quinn Smith (he/they) is a Chickasaw/Choctaw documentarian and writer who utilizes storytelling to advance the flourishing of Indigenous peoples and the environment. He earned his BA in Public Policy from Duke University in 2023 and won the Terry Sanford Leadership Award for his advocacy work as President of the Native American/Indigenous Student Alliance. He has directed creative projects for the U.S. Department of the Interior, All My Relations Podcast, Duke Gardens, as well as several independent documentaries and multimedia exhibits. Quinn also worked for Tripod Media on the Netflix documentary "Pamela: A Love Story". As a freelance writer, Quinn has written about Native American history and contemporary issues for and ClickView Education. After Southern Exposure, Quinn will spend 10 months through the Hart Fellowship working for the Indigenous Leadership Initiative, a non-profit advancing Indigenous land guardianship and connecting First Nation environmental justice movements across Canada.

Learn more about the Southern Exposure fellowship program ››