Youth

In 1979, Elizabeth Weatherford organized the first Native American Film and Video Festival for the Museum of the American Indian, which became the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) in 1989.

The history of lacrosse in North America is a rich and multi-layered one. Much more than a Native American ball and stick game, lacrosse is a cultural window into Native American communities and their historical relationship with each other and the dominant culture.

Embark on a journey of transformation as three sisters from the Pine Ridge Reservation 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.

At the age of five, Walter Littlemoon (Lakota) was removed from his family to attend a federal government boarding school where his culture, language and spirituality were suppressed. Embark on Walter's journey to heal himself and his community while reclaiming his heritage.

For Navajo and Hopi Tribes, running is more than a sport. The film moves beyond stereotypes of the past and present as two high school boys' cross country teams--Tuba City and Chinle--compete for the state championship title.

In the 1950s, two refineries were built on March Point, an area that was once part of the Swinomish Reservation by treaty. Three boys awaken to the destruction that these refineries have brought in their communities. Ambivalent environmental ambassadors at the onset, the boys grapple with their assignment through humor.

For thousands of years, traditional Inuit sports have been vital for survival within the unforgiving Arctic. Acrobatic and explosive, these ancestral games evolved to strengthen mind, body and spirit within the community. Following four modern Inuit athletes reveals their unique relationship to the games as they compete across the North. As unprecedented change sweeps across their traditional lands, their stories illuminate the importance of the games today.

In the turbulence of war, in a place where survival was just short of miraculous, the Aleuts of Alaska would redefine themselves and America. From indentured servitude and isolated internment camps, to Congress and the White House, this is the incredible story of the Aleut's decades-long struggle for our nation's ideals.

This series of five short videos features leaders addressing Native American women’s health. It is an online complement to the documentary Young Lakota to be broadcast on “Independent Lens” in 2013. Distributed electronically, the videos are particularly relevant to the contemporary experience of young people, girls and women in Indian Country. 

When you hear the phrase "Native American music" you may not think of tubas, trumpets and Sousa marches. Yet, this rich musical tradition has been a part of Native American culture for over one hundred years. Sousa on the Rez: Marching to the Beat of a Different Drum is a half-hour documentary that offers viewers an unexpected and engaging picture of this little-known Native music scene. The film challenges viewers to expand their definition of Native American music and broadens their understanding of contemporary Indian life.

The history of lacrosse in North America is a rich and multi-layered one. Much more than a Native American ball and stick game, lacrosse is a cultural window into Native American communities and their historical relationship with each other and the dominant culture.

Lakota youth in particular are eager to re-appropriate the language and its embedded concepts of place, ethics, action and purpose--on their own terms, sometimes in ways that clash with others' expectations or the status quo.

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