Language

In this compelling and intimate portrait of economic and cultural survival through art, Navajo filmmaker Bennie Klain takes viewers into the world of contemporary Navajo weavers and their struggles for self-sufficiency. Highlighting untold stories and colorful characters involved in the making and selling of Navajo rugs, Weaving Worlds explores the lives of Navajo artisans and their unique--and often controversial--relationship with Reservation traders.

The instructional television program, The Oneida Speak, is based in part on oral interviews of Oneida Indian elders in Wisconsin conducted between 1939-1941, as a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project sponsored by the federal government. Several stories from these interviews are reenacted in this program, which also includes interviews of contemporary Oneida historians, cultural preservationists, and elders by program producers.

The following are video chapters created to match with lesson plans outlined in the educational guide for Grab.

Click the title of the chapter to see video.

In 1918, not yet citizens of the United States, Choctaw Tribal members of the American Expeditionary Forces were asked to use their Native language as a powerful tool against the German Forces in World War I setting a precedent for code talking as an effective military tool and establishing them as America’s original code talkers.

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.

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.

Blend traditional Oneida storytelling with modern media, providing a window to a world that no longer exists. A personal account written by the elders of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin during the early 1930s as it portrays the land grab policies carried out by government agents.

In 1918, not yet citizens of the United States, Choctaw members of the American Expeditionary Forces were asked to use their Native language as a powerful tool against the German Forces in World War I--setting a precedent for code talking as an effective military weapon and establishing them as America's original code talkers.

Lakota youth in particular are eager to re-appropriate the language and its embedded concepts of place, ethics, action and purpose--on their own terms, sometimes in ways that clash with others' expectations or the status quo.

This documentary follows Kate Beane, a young Dakota woman, as she examines the extraordinary life of her celebrated relative, Charles Eastman (Ohiyesa). Biography and journey come together as Kate traces Eastman’s path—from traditional Dakota boyhood, through education at Dartmouth College, and in later roles as physician, author, lecturer and Native American advocate.

The tiny town of KIVALINA lies on a fragile barrier island along the Chukchi Sea, 83 miles above the Arctic circle.

When linguistic and anthropologist John Peabody Harrington died in 1961 at the age of 77, few understood the significance of his work. Harrington was an eccentric, paranoid, and obsessively driven anthropologist whose life became dedicated to preserving Native America's dying languages. Reclusive and secretive, he worked tirelessly 18-hour days crisscrossing the American West recording the last speakers of America's indigenous languages.

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