Apache

Dustinn Craig’s voice is cracking and he is having a hard time getting the words out.  Five minutes into the film “I Belong to This” Craig, the focus of the film, is breaking down into tears.  The emotion draws in the audience and it becomes evident that this isn’t a normal, informative, documentary.

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.

Raquel Chapa co-curated a three-gallery Native art show titled Native Voices, which opened in Brooklyn in the spring of 2008.

Steven Alvarez is a percussionist, vocalist, stage actor, and film and stage producer. Heholds Bachelor of Arts degrees in Music Education (Voice and Percussion) and History, with a minor in Philosophy, from San Jose State University.

Pearl Harvey (White Mountain Apache) is the Supervisor of White Mountain Apache Children’s Center and has held this position for eleven years.

The all-women wildland firefighting crew from the White Mountain Apache Tribe has been fighting fires on the Reservation and throughout the United States for more than 30 years. With humor and tenderness, four extraordinary women from different generations of the Apache 8 crew share their personal stories.

Ishi’s Return is a half-hour film about Ishi, billed in 1911 as the “last wild Indian,” when he wandered out of the woods in Oroville, California, and became a national sensation. When Ishi died, his brain was removed and sent to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. Eighty years later, his descendants in California fight to have his remains repatriated to his ancestral home. Ishi’s Return is from Native filmmakers Chris Eyre (Cheyenne/Arapaho) and Brian Wescott (Athabascan/Yup'ik) and producer Roberta Grossman (500 Nations, Homeland).

The U.S. Army had little to no success subduing Apache bands of the Southwest until White Mountain Apaches enlisted as Army Scouts. This film explores the complex histories of the Scouts, their relation to Geronimo and to securing the White Mountain Apache homeland.

 Dustinn Craig is a White Mountain Apache filmmaker based in Arizona.

Dustinn Craig (White Mountain Apache/Navajo) grew up in Arizona, living in White River on the Fort Apache Reservation and later in Window Rock on the Navajo Reservation. As a teenager, Craig began making skateboarding videos of himself and his friends.

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On September 5th through the 7th, Dustinn Craig and I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the Vision Maker Media Producers' Conference held in Minneapolis, MN. It is always inspirational to meet and network with other filmmakers, especially Native filmmakers, and to hear about their projects and how they juggle or attempt to juggle their lives and projects.

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