Language

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

Click the title of the chapter to see video.

Walter Littlemoon is a 69-year-old Lakota man born and raised in Wounded Knee, South Dakota. At the age of five, he was removed from his family to attend a Federal government boarding school where his culture, language and spirituality were suppressed.

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."

Broken by the legacy of colonialism, Lakota Tribes struggle for restoration, healing and rebuilding. This film is a conversation between the elder and younger generations about reclaiming their stories and culture. By looking at traditional family structure, spirituality, language and values, they hope to build a vision for the future.

In 2000, Principal Chief Chadwick Smith saw a need to preserve the Cherokee language and to find a way to get youth involved. He got the idea to start a youth choir. A year later, the choir was in need of a new director and an administrative assistant. Fluent Cherokee speaker and tribal member Kathy Sierra was asked to step-in until a director was found. Mary Kay Henderson, a member of the Cherokee Nation, applied for the position and was chosen as director.

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We are honored that SXSW picked our panel "Training the Next 7 Generations of Storytellers." Keep coming back here for updates on the event and other news about training young Native filmmakers. Here's a list of some of the programs we are aware of and will be talking about during the panel.

Kevin Locke (Anishinabe/Lakota) got his start as a Native flutist with songs from a vinyl record titled "Sioux Favorites." From there, he learned to play flute from Elders who knew other traditional Native flute music.

Kevin was inspired by many artists growing up because his mother, Patricia Locke, worked with numerous Native American tribes to establish colleges, promote educational programs on reservations, and aid in the restoration of Native American culture and languages.

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Last month I joined Lakota Language Consortium (LLC) linguist and executive director Wil Meya and dozens of other Vision Maker Media-supported documentary producers in Minneapolis, MN for a lively series of workshops, and the chance to attend the incredible annual conference of the National Alliance for Media and Culture.

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I watched a filmed called Sip'ohi- El Lugar Del Mansdure directed by Sebastian Lingiardi. It was a film about the Wichi Tribe in Argentina. The opening of the film we see a close up of someone trying to create a fire. It goes into this great creation story, oral traditions in the tribe. The main character is, Gustavo, a member of the tribe who has left the city life to go back home, or as we Natives in the US would say, “going back to the rez.” What drew me into the film within the first few frames was the language.

Julie Cajune is a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of Montana. She holds a bachelor's in elementary education and a master's in bilingual education. Julie was the first to teach the Salish language in the school system on the Flathead Reservation in Montana. She is also the executive director of the Center for American Indian Policy and Applied Research of the Heartlines Project. She was profiled in UTNE Reader as one of “50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World.”

Injunuity, the new documentary by Adrian Baker (Hopi), captures Native American stories and perspectives in a unique way--animation and real audio.

“We’re using a mix of animation, music and real audio to explore American life from a contemporary Native American perspective,” said Baker, the executive producer of Injunuity.

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Lincoln, Neb.: Vision Maker Media awards up to $500,000 combined annually to a select handful of production and research & development projects by filmmakers across the nation to produce documentaries for PBS stations.

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Films

Native stories that represent the cultures, experiences, and values of American Indians and Alaska Natives for your station!

Filmmakers

Current funding, job, and training opportunities that support the production of Native content. Plus, additional information for filmmakers.

Educators

Hands-on educational tools for middle school to college-aged students that increase the Impact of Native films in the classroom.