Suicide

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.

From Kartemquin Films (Hoop Dreams, Life Itself), Keep Talking follows four Alaska Native women learning to teach their critically endangered language. Only 41 fluent Elders still speak Kodiak Alutiiq due to brutal assimilation policies at U.S. government run Indian boarding schools. The grit and resilience of these women helps them overcome historical trauma, politics and personal demons as they evolve into #languagewarriors.

For centuries survival was difficult for Alaska Native peoples, but they lived full lives. Today survival is easier, but they are dying young. Alaska Native peoples sustained their way of life through a social, cultural and spiritual balance, but the traumatic ramifications of colonization have left many scars that continue to be passed down from generation to generation. 

SOL explores the death of a young Inuk man, Solomon Tapatiaq Uyarasuk, who is found dead in an RCMP detachment in a remote Inuit community. The locals suspect murder, but the police suggest suicide. As the documentary investigates the truth to Solomon’s death it sheds light on the underlying social issues of Canada’s North that has resulted in this region claiming one of the highest youth suicide rates in the world.

SOL explores the death of a young Inuk man, Solomon Tapatiaq Uyarasuk, who is found dead in an RCMP detachment in a remote Inuit community. The locals suspect murder, but the police suggest suicide. As the documentary investigates the truth to Solomon’s death it sheds light on the underlying social issues of Canada’s North that has resulted in this region claiming one of the highest youth suicide rates in the world.

Frank Waln (Sicangu Lakota) is an artist and producer from the Rosebud Sioux Reservation. After graduating valedictorian at his high school and starting college as a pre-medical student at Creighton University through the prestigious Gates Millennium Scholarship, he recently graduated from Colombia College Chicago to pursue his dream in music. As a member of the Native American band, Nake Nula Waun, he became the youngest person ever in 2010 to win the Native American Music Award for Best Producer.

Join Global Explorer, Chris Bashinelli, on an introspective adventure through the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Embark on a life-changing buffalo harvest, get schooled by a women’s basketball team, be inspired by a 14-year-old suicide prevention activist, and watch Chris shove his arm shoulder-deep up a cow’s backside while trying to better understand employment on the Reservation. With humor and pathos, he uncovers stories of hope and learns how Lakota culture has prevailed in the face of adversity. 

Drugs, alcohol, poor education, and poverty are all common problems in Indian Country, and tribes everywhere are constantly trying to find ways to win those battles.

St. Michael is a village of 370 residents on the southwest coast of Alaska, 200 miles south of the Arctic Circle. It is isolated and remote. Priests became trusted elders in the community, but weird things would start to happen upon their arrival in 1968 when Father Endal, Deacon Lundowski and Brother Smario arrived at the Catholic Church.

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.

Cherokee filmmaker Heather Rae’s new feature documentary, First Circle, shares the stories of families in Idaho struggling with drug abuse, the foster care system and the intrinsic human need for family.

 
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