Growing Native Trailer Debuts at the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts Native Cinema Showcase


Mica Valdez is a poet, editor, visual artist and curator.

Growing Native Trailer Debuts at the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts Native Cinema Showcase

Date Posted: 
2011-09-01 10:31

Blog Series:


Vision Make Media hosted the first Media for Change Workshop focusing on documentary film and social issues held at the Institute for American Indian Arts (IAIA) in Santa Fe, New Mexico. This unique workshop for Native Media Makers and Educators included speakers Molly Murphy of Working Films and Rose M. Poston (Sandia Pueblo) of KNME-TV. At the workshop, I was able to meet key individuals who are working in the Indigenous Sustainability movement and in alignment with similar goals as our television project Growing Native.

At the convening, I met Cara McCoy (Chemehuevi) who manages the Indigeneity Program of Bioneers and learned more about the upcoming annual conference in October to be held in San Rafael, CA. I also met Bonita Rickers (Ponca Tribe of Nebraska), who is a college student leader in a sustainability club at IAIA and will be working with staff and students to organize a conference on climate change at her campus in April.

Following the workshop, I was able to speak with educator Shelly Valdez (Laguna Pueblo) who shared with me her work on a special project she did in Science where she brought together Native youth from both sides of the border at the famous Chaco Canyon.Her ability to teach Science within the context of Native culture and history is a much needed resource within the field of education and we are fortunate to work with her in developing curriculum for Vision Maker Media.

During this week of SWAIA’s Native Cinema showcase, it was also very valuable to have discussions and meet in person with Chris Eyre (Cheyenne/Arapaho), Beverly Morris (Aleut), and Shirley Sneve (Sicangu Lakota) to work toward our goal for Growing Native to be in production by 2012.

The evening of August 16, it was exciting to watch the Growing Native trailer debut at SWAIA, introduced by renowned actor Wes Studi (Cherokee) and Conroy Chino (Acoma) in conjunction with the film Ancient Pathways, Modern Leaders. The panel discussion that followed with Pueblo tribal leaders was lively and reminded those in attendance that what is commonly known as “Santa Fe” has for centuries been Tesuque land.

A highlight of this trip was a meeting and tour at the KNME television station in Albuquerque, where our staff was greeted by station executives, advised of possible next steps and informed of a potential funding source for the series Growing Native.



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