Women and Girls Lead

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As an Alaska Native woman passionate about seeking protections for the land and indigenous people of our state, I find the life of Elizabeth Peratrovich truly inspiring. For this woman, to stand up and speak her heart and mind in a room full of scorn, with all the cards stacked against her, is tribute to the unconquerable spirit of Alaska Native people.

Denise Juneau, a member of the Mandan and Hidatsa Tribes of North Dakota, is the first American Indian woman to win a statewide election. After four years in office, she is now running for re-election as Montana's Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Written by Mark Trahant.

Interviews conducted and edited by Mark Trahant.

Jennifer is Oneida and Lakota. She was raised mostly in Wisconsin close to her Oneida culture. Jennifer's Oneida name is Wakoshi.yo and it translates to "a bird with colorful feathers," or "peacock." She participated in the traditional Oneida naming ceremony and was given her name from her grandmother. Jennifer incorporated her Oneida name in her artwork and named her website after it.

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If you’ve been following my blogs, of if you know me, you should know how passionate I am about Native media. In the recent years, I’ve taken a deeper interest in Native American Educational Media and decided to get yet another degree focusing on this subject. I’ve been involved with learning and teaching media for over 10 years now and I am starting to see the Native communities becoming more technically savvy, more involved in digital storytelling and more passionate about not only pre

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I spent 10 weeks as a Vision Maker Media Multimedia Intern at KVCR/First Nations Experience (FNX) public television station in San Bernardino, Calif.

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This month, ChristianPost.com wrote a blog about the Apache 8 all-women firefighting crew. The more commonly known Navajo firefighters specialize in "hot spots" and extend their expertise nationwide when needed. The surprising team is the women from Fort Apache--the Apache 8 Crew, who also answer the call when needed across the U.S.

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.”

At 18-years-old, Monique Verdin (Houma) never intended to make a film for PBS. She wanted to return to her family’s ancestral home in southeastern Louisiana to document and preserve the traditional Houma ways of her grandmother. Upon arrival, events unfurled that would forever change the lives of Verdin, her family and their beloved home. My Louisiana Love is Verdin’s story of love, loss and life in the wetlands of southeastern Louisiana.

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I recently attended imagineNative where my film, Up Heartbreak Hill, had its Canadian premiere. The festival was amazing – it ran from Oct. 19 – 23 in Toronto and was a whirlwind of films, panels and networking opportunities. The festival kicked off with a screening of On the Ice and The Country of Wolves, which were both phenomenal. At the opening night party, I had the chance to chat with a number of Khoi-San filmmakers and artists, who were there as a part of the delegation representing South Africa’s indigenous community.

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In 2004, thirteen Indigenous grandmothers from all four corners, moved by their concern for our planet, came together at a historic gathering in Phoenicia, New York. At this event, they decided to form an alliance called "The International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers" in response to a prophecy made by their ancestors thousands of years ago.

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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Finally in Post-Production, I can see an end to five years of making my first feature documentary, My Louisiana Love. Now… how will the film help bring forth change for my best friend, co-producer, and main subject, Monique Verdin and her Houma Indian family of southeast Louisiana? With this question hanging over me, I gratefully accepted Vision Maker Media’s invitation to a Media for Change workshop in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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