Lakota

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It's not easy to convince people at the Winnebago Tribe Powwow to talk about politics and the upcoming election. It's not only talking over the steady, infectious rhythm of the drum groups performing in the dance circle. There's often a sense that Native people get left off the radar of the people campaigning for office.

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In an article by Matt Goodlett of Omaha, Nebraska's The Reader, the question is raised of "What is Uranium Mining in Nebraska Doing to Pine Ridge's Drinking Water?"

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Recently, I was asked to help plan the cultural event for the National Congress of American Indians’ (NCAI) Annual Mid-Year Conference and Marketplace, June 17-20 in Lincoln, Neb.—Vision Maker Media’s hometown. It’s been a very exciting experience and I look forward to meeting all of the conference attendees. More importantly though, it is a chance for the community to engage with Tribal leaders and representatives from across the U.S.

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In March, I was on a panel at SXSW called "Popping Your Bubble: Stories of the Digital Divide." Working with technology and culture in Indian Country, I have seen how the lack of Internet access can be a roadblock for people to share or even get information about their culture. Because of this reason, I am so passionate about doing what I can to help bridge the Digital Divide.

As a child, Walter Littlemoon, Lakota, was forcefully taken from his mother by the U.S. government and placed into a federally operated Native American boarding school on the Pine Ridge Reservation. There, Littlemoon and his peers received a cultural purging to erase their Native identity. Humiliation, beatings and abuse were a part of this process. Littlemoon’s traumatic experience at the boarding school became deeply rooted into his being, causing him great mental and emotional pain well into his adult years.

For Italian Americans and Native Americans living in and around Denver, Colorado, Christopher Columbus and the holiday honoring him are subjects of heated debate. In the new documentary, Columbus Day Legacy, Navajo filmmaker Bennie Klain presents viewers with both sides of the conflict.

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In 2004, thirteen Indigenous grandmothers from all four corners, moved by their concern for our planet, came together at a historic gathering in Phoenicia, New York. At this event, they decided to form an alliance called "The International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers" in response to a prophecy made by their ancestors thousands of years ago.

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I just finished reading an article by Cheryl Crazy Bull on behalf of Indian Country Today Media Network. The article, entitled "Education is Key to Prosperity,"really struck a chord with me, and I must say that I whole-heartedly agree.

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This past Saturday was the world premiere of my documentary The Thick Dark Fog at the 36th annual American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco. Walter Littlemoon, the subject of the film, and his wife Jane Ridgway were in attendance. Full house at the Embarcadero Center Cinema! A packed house watched the film and then had the opportunity to ask Walter and myself questions afterwards. Also joining us were producer Jonathan Skurnik, composer Kathryn Bostic and wardrobe person and actress Joyce Ferrer.

Bridge the Gap to Pine Ridge exposes viewers to a positive, fresh perspective of life on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Hosted and executive produced by 24-year-old New Yorker Chris Bashinelli, Bridge the Gap to Pine Ridge follows Bashinelli as he drops in on the day-to-day lives of local residents to find out about life on Pine Ridge, their stories and how they see themselves in the larger context of the world.

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Award-winning singer/songwriter Bill Miller (Mohican) will be performing at the Newmark Theatre in Portland, Oregon, tomorrow, July 16. The concert kicks-off at 7 p.m.

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My name is Randy Vasquez and the new website for my documentary film about one man's experience in the Indian boarding school is up at www.thickdarkfog.com.

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Lake of Betrayal looks at the Seneca Nation’s fight to protect its sovereignty against a backdrop of a federal Indian Termination policy, pork-barrel politics, and undis