Language

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.

Athena Smith, a student in the Southern Ponca Media Camp, produced this piece about the Ponca Language, in our "Home" series.

The Indigenous Language Institute, located on the Santa Fe Indian School campus, is doing all they can to combat the extinction of indigenous languages.

An exploration on the cultural, historical and educational importance of Native language preservation.

Pomo for The Indian Children's Place, Hintil Kuu Ca is the only Native American child development center (CDC) in an urban area in California.

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Five Vision Maker Media Films Streaming Free in November on PBS

Watch these films during November, just click on the link to watch.

Filmmakers


• Veterans' Day Special - Free viewings: Nov. 9-12 on VMM's YouTube Channel
• Native Documentaries on Special for November
• Filmmaker Challenges: Importance of Protecting Creativity
• Celebrating 50 Years of Public Broadcasting
• Filmmaker Opportunities
• Upcoming Film Screenings
•To Edit or Not to Edit Your Own FIlms: Wat's Your Choice?
• Find Us On the Road