Alaska Native

In the turbulence of war, in a place where survival was just short of miraculous, the Aleuts of Alaska would redefine themselves and America. From indentured servitude and isolated internment camps, to Congress and the White House, this is the incredible story of the Aleut's decades-long struggle for our nation's ideals.

A dying woman's effort to preserve her Native culture doesn't end when she passes. Instead, she renews her quest to find pride in her culture by confronting the violent event over two centuries ago that began the destruction of her people and the shame that colonialism created.

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What does Growing Native mean to you? That is a question we posed to the Growing Native Advisory Council as we went through pre-production. The answers we received were varied, but connected – it’s growing us as a people in a way that sustains us as a people, it’s taking things that we knew and that worked in the past and building on that, it’s illustrating the interconnectedness of everything that we do.

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This February, I was blessed with the opportunity to travel up to Alaska to film the latest episode of Growing Native. This trip would be the first of two as host Chris Eyre explores Alaska and all its Native cultures has to offer. I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but it bears repeating: Alaska is a special place. Having never been to Alaska before, I was anxious to discover for myself just what exactly all the hoopla was about, and I figured two days would be enough. I was coming to Alaska with a mission – locate that elusive quality that takes the breath away and get it on film.

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As an Alaska Native woman passionate about seeking protections for the land and indigenous people of our state, I find the life of Elizabeth Peratrovich truly inspiring. For this woman, to stand up and speak her heart and mind in a room full of scorn, with all the cards stacked against her, is tribute to the unconquerable spirit of Alaska Native people.

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My husband and co-Producer Evon Peter and I had the honor of attending the recent Vision Maker Media Producer Workshop and National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture (NAMAC) conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Our film We Breathe Again was selected for Vision Maker Media funding support recently and we were then invited to attend this Producers Workshop and conference. The entire trip was greatly informative, both inside and outside the workshops.

“For 30 years, the story of that abuse was largely untold,” said Curran, an Emmy® award-winning cinematographer who produced and directed The Silence.

An exploration on the cultural, historical and educational importance of Native language preservation.

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