Language

From Kartemquin Films (Hoop Dreams, Life Itself), Keep Talking follows four Alaska Native women learning to teach their critically endangered language. Only 41 fluent Elders still speak Kodiak Alutiiq due to brutal assimilation policies at U.S. government run Indian boarding schools. The grit and resilience of these women helps them overcome historical trauma, politics and personal demons as they evolve into #languagewarriors.

Blend traditional Oneida storytelling with modern media, providing a window to a world that no longer exists. A personal account written by the elders of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin during the early 1930s as it portrays the land grab policies carried out by government agents.

In 1918, not yet citizens of the United States, Choctaw 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 weapon and establishing them as America's original code talkers.

Lakota youth in particular are eager to re-appropriate the language and its embedded concepts of place, ethics, action and purpose--on their own terms, sometimes in ways that clash with others' expectations or the status quo.

When linguistic and anthropologist John Peabody Harrington died in 1961 at the age of 77, few understood the significance of his work. Harrington was an eccentric, paranoid, and obsessively driven anthropologist whose life became dedicated to preserving Native America's dying languages. Reclusive and secretive, he worked tirelessly 18-hour days crisscrossing the American West recording the last speakers of America's indigenous languages.

Growing Native will be a seven-part series focusing on reclaiming traditional knowledge and food ways to address critical issues of health and wellness, the environment and human rights.

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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