Native American Studies

Once a star athlete in his community, Beau LeBeau (Oglala Lakota) now weighs 333 pounds--an unhealthy weight which has triggered the onset of Type II Diabetes. His mother's untimely death from complications due to cancer and diabetes motivates him to drop the excessive pounds. Enlisting the help of physician Dr. Kevin Weiland and nutritionist Kibbe Conti (Oglala Lakota), Beau starts exercising and takes up a traditional Lakota diet of buffalo meat and other Native foods.

Four Inuit athletes travel throughout Alaska competing in the ancestral games of strength. Acrobatic and explosive, these sports are vital for survival in the frigid, hostile Arctic. As waves of change sweep across their traditional lands, their role is stronger than ever.

In the Alaska Purchase of 1867 the United States took on more than just the land. There were indigenous people living everywhere in Alaska. Like Native Americans in the lower 48, Alaska Natives struggled to keep their basic human rights as well as protect their ancient ties to the land. The Bill of Rights did not apply to them. Through extensive reenactments and rarely seen historic footage and photographs, 'For the Rights of All' reveals these remarkable people and their non-violent struggle for civil rights.

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.

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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