Civil RIghts

November 8, 2016
For 8 weeks, 12 American Indian high school students worked with media instructors John Gwinn and Tiana LaPointe, as well as special facilitator Bobby Wilson.

The engaging life story of Native American poet/prophet/activist John Trudell and his heartfelt message of active, personal responsibility to the earth, all of its inhabitants and our descendants. Native American activist and poet John Trudell fuses his radical politics with music, writing and art. Combining images and archival footage with interviews and performances, this biography reveals the philosophy and motivations behind Trudell's work and his relationship to contemporary Indian history.

For decades, child welfare authorities have been removing Native American children from their homes. In Maine, the first official “truth and reconciliation commission” in the United States began a historic investigation. DAWNLAND goes behind-the-scenes as this historic body grapples with difficult truths, redefines reconciliation, and charts a new course for state and tribal relations.

In the Beginning was Water and Sky is a short-form New Media project that tells two parallel stories about a Chippewa boy who runs away from an Indian Boarding School in the 1950s and a Chippewa girl who runs away from her village in the 1700s.

Watch online: http://www.pbs.org/indiefilms/shorts/beginning-was-water-and-sky/

What does blood have to do with identity? Kendra Mylnechuk, an adult Native adoptee, born in 1980 at the cusp of the enactment of the Indian Child Welfare Act, is on a journey to reconnect with her birth family and discover her Lummi heritage.

In 2012, a film that Randy Vasquez directed and I produced, called The Thick Dark Fog, was broadcast nationwide on PBS. The film tells the story of Lakota elder Walter Littlemoon’s journey of healing from his American Indian boarding school experiences. During the production of the film, we spoke to many Native elders who had gone to boarding school.

When the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers attempts to take their land to build Kinzua Dam, the Seneca people stand up to the government and prevailing political forces of the 1950s and 60s to save their culture, their sovereignty, and their way of life to preserve their future. This film explores the history of Kinzua Dam on the Allegheny River in Pennsylvania and its impact on the Seneca Nation.

In the Alaska Purchase of 1867 the United States took on more than just the land. There were indigenous people living everywhere in Alaska. Like Native Americans in the lower 48, Alaska Natives struggled to keep their basic human rights as well as protect their ancient ties to the land. The Bill of Rights did not apply to them. Through extensive reenactments and rarely seen historic footage and photographs, 'For the Rights of All' reveals these remarkable people and their non-violent struggle for civil rights.

At the age of five, Walter Littlemoon (Lakota) was removed from his family to attend a federal government boarding school where his culture, language and spirituality were suppressed. Embark on Walter's journey to heal himself and his community while reclaiming his heritage.

When the Oglala Sioux Tribe passed an ordinance separating industrial hemp from its illegal cousin, marijuana, Alex White Plume researched hemp and found it to be a versatile, sustainable crop that could grow in the inhospitable soil of the South Dakota Badlands--envisioning a new economy.

In 1877, the Ponca people were exiled from their Nebraska homeland to Indian Territory in present-day Oklahoma. To honor his dying son's last wish to be buried in his homeland, Chief Standing Bear set-off on a grueling, 600-mile journey home. Captured en-route, Standing Bear sued a famous U.S. army general for his freedom.

An increasing number of Native Americans are leaving the Reservation for life in city areas such as Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and the San Francisco Bay area. The life of urban Indians is shown primarily through the eyes of these individuals as they attempt to maintain their cultural identity while living away from the Reservation.

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