Alutiiq

Keep Talking follows four Alaska Native women fighting to save Kodiak Alutiiq, a critically endangered language with only 41 fluent Elders remaining. At language immersion camp, young Sadie (13) is inspired. Over the course of the film, Sadie evolves from painful shyness into a powerful young woman with a strong connection to her culture. “Sadie’s journey demonstrates the powerful impact language revitalization can have on a young person’s sense of self,” says director Karen Weinberg.

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.

The efforts of one dying woman to preserve her Native culture don’t end when she passes, but prompts a renewal in finding pride in that culture. She confronts the violent event over two centuries ago that began the destruction of her people and the shame that colonialism created.

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.

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, the film reveals the remarkable people and their struggle for civil rights.

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.

Seeking untold stories of value has been Francis and Kjellstrand’s life long occupation. Having taught and presented all over the world, these two journalists have made storytelling their vocation.

 
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