Ethnic Studies

Columbus Day Legacy explores the quintessential American issues of free speech and ethnic pride against the backdrop of the ongoing Columbus Day parade controversy in Denver, Colorado. Navajo filmmaker Bennie Klain takes viewers into this very personal yet very public conflict, asking tough questions about identity and history in America.

In 1918, not yet citizens of the United States, Choctaw Tribal members of the American Expeditionary Forces were asked to use their Native language as a powerful tool against the German Forces in World War I setting a precedent for code talking as an effective military tool and establishing them as America’s original code talkers.

Apache 8 tells the story of an all-women wildland firefighter crew from the White Mountain Apache Tribe, who have been fighting fires in Arizona and throughout the U.S., for over 30 years. The film delves into the challenging lives of these Native firefighters.

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.

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.

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.

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