Youth

Two brothers from the Onondaga Nation pursue their dreams of playing lacrosse for Syracuse University. With the dream nearly in reach, the boys are caught in a constant struggle to define their Native identity, live-up to their family's expectations and balance challenges on and off the Reservation.

Follow-up series now available
The  Medicine Game: Four Brothers, One Dream

In the town of Shiprock, N.M., poverty and corruption have long been a struggle and as the Navajo Nation looks for leadership, it is met with scandal. To make a change, a young group of men and women are taking back their community--led by 21-year-old Graham Beyale. This is the story of how one will make a difference and inspire a generation of leaders to make changes in their own communities.

Injunuity is a collage of reflections on the Native American world, our shared past, our turbulent present, and our undiscovered future. From Columbus to the western expansion to tribal casinos, we are taught that the Native way, while at times glorious, is something of the past, something that needed to be replaced by a manifest destiny from across the ocean. But in a world increasingly short of real answers, it is time we looked to Native wisdom for guidance. It is time for some Injunuity.

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As Father’s Day approaches, my heart is overwhelmed with a sense of bitter sweetness. It is at this time that Video Letters will be re-released through Vision Maker Media at the request of my three grown daughters. Our hearts are in mourning at the loss of their father Marvin (featured in Video Letters) as we lost him in the fall of 2012. My daughters miss him intensely.

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This session was presented as a three-hour clinic. We began our session with introductions and a question prompt of “What is ‘home’?” Each participant shared, with one even highlighting that where she lived wasn’t her ‘home’. This was a perfect transition into the introduction, “What is ‘home’ for the Poncas?” Larry led a brief discussion about the historical aspects of the tribe and how the documentary, curriculum and the workshop sections of the project began to take shape.

Video Letters from Prison follows the lives of three Oglala Lakota sisters as they reconnect with their incarcerated father via a series of video letters. The Poor Bear girls are not sure they even want to connect--but their mother, Cindy, helps them overcome reluctance and hurt to participate in the letters. The change in her girls is immediate and beautiful. Connecting life's paths, Video Letters from Prison is a road flooded with emotions and spiritual growth.

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.

My Louisiana Love traces a young woman’s quest to find a place in her Native American community as it suffers from decades of environmental degradation. Monique Verdin returns to Southeast Louisiana to reunite with her Houma Indian family. But soon she discovers that her people’s traditional way of life is threatened by a cycle of man-made environmental crises. Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil leak are just the latest disasters in this century-old cycle that is forcing Monique’s clan to adapt in new ways.

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The month of February found me back at the Ponca tribal community of White Eagle working with the students to create a video for the American Graduate Film festival. The video is to address the festival theme is, the dropout crisis in America. The plan was to bring back the students from the Standing Bear's Meaning of Home summer program for another round of making digital media with Mac Air books using I-movie. With the deadline the first of March, we beganwith classes twice a week.

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."

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As a relatively new member of the Vision Maker Media board of directors, I have been on a steep learning curve. I am so honored to have the opportunity to explore the whole arena of public television and film development for Native people, especially being an educator where we are always looking for authentic, relevant, culturally based materials to further educate ourselves and others. I am a Hochunk/Anishanabe with over 40 years of experience as an educator, focusing mostly on Native and multicultural education.

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Films

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

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

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