Ethnic Studies

The first documentary feature to chronicle the legendary accomplishments and mysterious life of the famed Cherokee Renaissance man, Sequoyah. While much is known about Sequoyah and his many accomplishments, we know very little about the man himself. The greatest mystery is not how he created the Cherokee syllabary, but rather the details of his final journey to Mexico and the circumstances of his death.

Cree filmmaker Neil Diamond takes an entertaining and insightful look at the Hollywood Indian, exploring the portrayal of North American Natives through a century of cinema. Traveling through the heartland of America, Diamond looks at how the myth of "the Injun" has influenced the world's understanding--and misunderstanding--of Natives.

Amidst the echoes of genocide, an unprecedented truth commission attempts to heal the wounds of a foster care system devastating Native American families in DAWNLAND. A documentary about cultural survival and stolen children: inside the first truth and reconciliation commission for Native Americans.

Blood Memory reveals the untold history of America’s Indian Adoption Era – a time when nearly one-third of Indigenous children were removed from reservations nationwide. A survivor of this “stolen generation” returns home to heal her community. A child welfare attorney redresses the law he once fought to protect.

This documentary explores the mythic and historic roots of contemporary gambling in the Northwest Native Society through a look at the traditional hand game (also called "stick game" or "bone game"). Traveling from reservation to reservation and meeting engaging and colorful players, the filmmakers show how traditional ways of thinking are alive today in Indian country. An inside view of an ancient form of gambling that combines strategy, wit and skill.

An Eastern Shoshone Elder and two Northern Arapaho youth living on the Wind River Indian Reservation attempt to learn why thousands of ancestral artifacts are in the darkness of underground archives of museums and churches, boxed away and forgotten. Like millions of indigenous people in many parts of the world, they do not control their own material culture. It is being preserved, locked away, by ‘outsiders’ who themselves do not know what they have.

In A Seat at the Drum, journalist Mark Anthony Rolo (Bad River Ojibwe) journeys to L.A., the city that filled his imagination as a child. There he meets many of the thousands of American Indian families who were relocated from poor reservations to the cities in the last half of the 20th century, creating the largest Native American community in the nation -- over 200,000 according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

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.

An increasing number of Native Americans are leaving the Reservation for life in city areas such as Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and the San Francisco Bay area. The life of urban Indians is shown primarily through the eyes of these individuals as they attempt to maintain their cultural identity while living away from the Reservation.

This documentary celebrates the spectacular beadwork of the Northwest Plateau People. The film provides a rare opportunity to experience Plateau culture through the eyes and hearts of artists, who share their history, motivation, and the beadwork that plays an important role in binding their culture together. Native Plateau beadwork is part of the rich tapestry of American culture. Plateau culture is unique and its story of survival a quintessentially American story.

Exploring the only deadly clash between Native Americans and the Lewis and Clark Expedition, A Blackfeet Encounter discovers a rich Blackfeet history and culture, traces the aftermath of the expedition's arrival and investigates the challenges and triumphs of the Blackfeet people today.

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.

 
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