Youth

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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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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Author: 
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."

Blog Series:

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.

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.

Raven Chacon is a member of the Dine’ Nation and an experimental musician, composer and educator. Raven has been building his own instruments for creating new sounds since he was a child growing up in Chinle. Today he teaches Native youth through various programs including the Native American Composers Apprenticeship Project (NACAP).

We recently  talked with Raven about his influences, composing and the next generation of Native musicians.

Written by Eric Martin

Anecita Agustines (Dine) and Jack Kohler (Hoopa/Yurok/Karuk) are changing the landscape in northern California for Native youth interested in television production. They are the executive producers for On Native Ground Youth Reports, a monthly entertainment broadcast on the FNX First Nations Experience Channel (www.fnx.org).

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