Podcasts

In 1979, Elizabeth Weatherford organized the first Native American Film and Video Festival for the Museum of the American Indian, which became the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) in 1989.

Randall Warren Heavilin (Navajo) is a classically trained cellist and composer from Austin Texas. A graduate of The Berklee College of Music, Heavilin: composes, performs, and produces a variety of music for films and other media outlets.

Recently, Randall has composed the score for Yellow Fever, a documentary film that follows the Uranium boom on Navajo lands, and the effects that it has had on the people living there.

Rising Voices is an upcoming documentary film by Wil Meya of The Language Conservancy and by Florentine Films/Hott Productions.

The Language Conservancy is a nonprofit organization that spreads information to the public about the crisis of endangered languages in effort to gain more support for Indigenous languages. They also work with Natives across the U.S. on language revitalization issues.

LaDonna Harris: Indian 101 is a new biopic from Comanche filmmaker Julianna Brannum. The film chronicles the life of Comanche activist and national civil rights leader LaDonna Harris and the role that she has played in Native and mainstream American history.

Hawk Henries is a gifted flutist and flute maker from the Nipmuc tribe in southern New England. He has performed at various venues across the United States and around the world. Hawk first learned to make flutes after he ruined his own flute and was forced to repair it over the course of several months. Those months of repair lead to a passion for creating flutes that has lasted over 20 years.

Hawk believes in creating his instruments through traditional techniques and the use of hand tools.

Growing Native started out with a tomato. It was, at first glance, just a regular tomato – round, red, and quite delicious. But on a cold winter day many years ago, Vision Maker Media’s Executive Director Shirley K. Sneve (Sicangu Lakota) thought about that tomato for a minute and something clicked.

Jack Gladstone is from the Blackfeet Indian Nation of Montana and a "storysmith." Regarded as a cultural bridge builder, he delivers programs across the nation, on American Indian history.

Jack recently was honored with the CM Russel Heritage Award, and a Native American Music Award.

2013 marks the 29th year that Jack has been sharing insight about about Montana's Indigenous people at Glacier National Park.

Swil Kanim (Lummi) is an award-winning violinist and inspirational speaker. He travels throughout the United States, inspiring audiences through his music and personal stories. His compositions incorporate classical influences and reflect his journey from depression and despair to spiritual and emotional freedom.

Swil Kanim is also the president of Honor Works, a nonprofit organization who mission is "to create and ignite the potential for Honor among all people."

Seeking untold stories of value has been Francis and Kjellstrand’s life long occupation. Having taught and presented all over the world, these two journalists have made storytelling their vocation.

Brent Michael Davids (Stockbridge-Munsee Band of the Mohican Nation) is a classically trained musician and composer. He has been a long-time fixture in the music scene of the Minneapolis-St. Paul region of Minnesota, but is now building a new home and studio on his reservation in Wisconsin. Through the American Composers Forum (ACF), he’s a founder of the First Nations Composer Initiative (FNCI). Known for his artistic flair and top hat, through the Blue Butterfly Group, Davids has received numerous commissions and honors.

Crying Earth Rise Up is a film by Suree Towfighnia of Prairie Dust Films with consulting producer Debra White Plume (Oglala). The name of the film comes from an old belief of the Lakota that Mother Earth needs to be cared for through good stewardship of the land—caring for its natural resources.

The location for the documentary is on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation—the land of the Oglala Lakota—on the South Dakota-Nebraska border.

Raven Chacon is a member of the Dine’ Nation and an experimental musician, composer and educator. Raven has been building his own instruments for creating new sounds since he was a child growing up in Chinle. Today he teaches Native youth through various programs including the Native American Composers Apprenticeship Project (NACAP).

We recently  talked with Raven about his influences, composing and the next generation of Native musicians.

Written by Eric Martin

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