Youth

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.

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).

In 2000, Principal Chief Chadwick Smith saw a need to preserve the Cherokee language and to find a way to get youth involved. He got the idea to start a youth choir. A year later, the choir was in need of a new director and an administrative assistant. Fluent Cherokee speaker and tribal member Kathy Sierra was asked to step-in until a director was found. Mary Kay Henderson, a member of the Cherokee Nation, applied for the position and was chosen as director.

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We are honored that SXSW picked our panel "Training the Next 7 Generations of Storytellers." Keep coming back here for updates on the event and other news about training young Native filmmakers. Here's a list of some of the programs we are aware of and will be talking about during the panel.

Minneapolis has one of the largest urban Indian populations.

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The 2012 National Indian Education Association (NIEA) 43rd Annual Convention and Trade Show officially kicked off in Oklahoma City, Okla., on Wednesday, October 17, 2012. The theme for this year's convention was "Maintaining Traditions in a Digital Era.” It was a conference filled with exciting dialogue, inspiration, and sharing of innovative ideas for use in the classroom.

Kevin Locke (Anishinabe/Lakota) got his start as a Native flutist with songs from a vinyl record titled "Sioux Favorites." From there, he learned to play flute from Elders who knew other traditional Native flute music.

Kevin was inspired by many artists growing up because his mother, Patricia Locke, worked with numerous Native American tribes to establish colleges, promote educational programs on reservations, and aid in the restoration of Native American culture and languages.

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