Youth

In the new film Up Heartbreak Hill, Thomas Martinez, resident of Crystal New Mexico, a community on the Navajo Reservation, tells viewers about the realities of life on the Reservation. “Around here everyone thinks they live in a third world country,” explains Thomas, “what I hear from people is that living in Navajo is just straight up bad.” Thomas attends high school in Navajo, a nearby town of about 2000 people with a per capita income of $4,600 and a high school graduation rate of 56%.

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A school in the San Francisco Bay area with roots to a historical occupation and a graduation activity that involves 3-year old students beading their own graduation belts may soon close its doors. Students, alumni, parents, staff and community members have pledged to do whatever it takes to save Hintil Kuu Ca, a pre-kindergarten child development center (CDC) they say is unlike any other.

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The Indigenous Language Institute is doing all it can to combat the extinction of indigenous languages, a vital part of Native people’s identity. Native American stories, history and prayers are all passed down orally. But Native American languages are disappearing at an alarming rate. According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger, there are 191 endangered languages in the United States, 74 of which are listed as critically endangered.

The new documentary, For the Generations: Native Story & Performance, offers viewers a unique look at today’s most progressive Native American music and dance performers. This month’s producer profile features Sean Hutchinson.  He is a co-producer of the film, along with Mary Hager (French-Canadian Cree/Metis) and Arlie Neskahi (Navajo) of Painted Sky, last month’s featured producers.

The new documentary, For the Generations: Native Story & Performance, offers viewers a unique look at today’s most progressive Native American music and dance performers. The film is a joint production of Mary Hager (French-Canadian Cree/Metis) and Arlie Neskahi (Navajo) of Painted Sky, and Sean Hutchinson of Oregon Public Broadcasting. This month’s Producer Profile features Hager and Neskahi of Painted Sky, an organization dedicated to building public awareness of Native American culture, music and dance through performance and education.

Filmmaker Milt Lee cannot stomach Hollywood’s compulsion to relegate Native Americans to one of two places - a pedestal of historic glorification that makes them all spiritual leaders, healers, etc. or as the poster child of the third world in America. He tackles this perception head-on in his latest documentary Video Letters from Prison, to be released this Spring.

This student film compares dropping out of school to becoming like a zombie, due to the impact that it will have on a person's future.

A chorus of Ponca tribe voices come together in this intergenerational plea for the role of a good education in preserving cultural heritage.

A group of kids celebrate their father, whose commitment to their education propels them toward graduation.

Makala is a Native American student athlete who must balance her time between sports and school.

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