About the Hummingbird

The beautiful manga art work of Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas comes from a parable with origins in the Quechuan people of South America. In the story, the determined hummingbird does everything she can to put out a raging fire that threatens her forest home. The hummingbird symbol of wisdom and courage demonstrates that doing something is better than doing nothing at all.

The story is illustrated with the artwork of internationally renowned artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaasof in a book called the Flight of the Hummingbird. The Flight of the Hummingbird has been converted into a beautiful animated video.

The parable is embraced by two of the world’s most influential leaders: Wangari Maathai, the Nobel Peace Prize winner from Kenya who launched the Green Belt Movement, and His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who has spoken widely about our universal responsibility and our need to act to preserve our environment.

The hummingbird has become a talisman for environmentalists and activists who are committed to making meaningful change in the world, encouraging everyone to act on behalf of our limited and precious resources, and to do what we can in whatever realm we deem important.

Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas

“Art opens windows to the space between ourselves. Art has the capacity to pull us together. I welcome you to be bold and step into this space.”

Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas is an international speaker, artist and author who has addressed people on stages across North America, Asia, Europe and India. Michael cleverly combines his experience in indigenous politics and as an award-winning contemporary artist to deliver results-oriented presentations on social justice, community building, communication and change management. Each presentation is tailored to achieve specific outcomes and leave participants inspired to take new initiative and energized to engage.

Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas

Wangari Maathai

“One of the most important lessons I have learned is that all citizens need to be empowered. We need to feel that the life we want for ourselves and our children can be achieved only when we directly participate in protecting and restoring our environment. We can’t wait for others to do it for us; we need to take action ourselves. In Japan I learned the Buddhist word mottainai. It embraces the practice of not wasting resources and of using them with respect and gratitude.”

Foreword to Flight of the Hummingbird
Wangari Maathai – PDF

The Flight of the Hummingbird: Opera for All Ages
Official Online Release – YouTube
2020.05.19

Restoring Our Environment