Lakota

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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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Lincoln, Neb.: Vision Maker Media awards up to $500,000 combined annually to a select handful of production and research & development projects by filmmakers across the nation to produce documentaries for PBS stations.

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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.

Good Meat, a new film co-produced by Sam Hurst, captures a glimpse of the obesity epidemic faced by Native Americans today.

“Forty percent of the Oglala Lakota people are already struggling with obesity, diabetes and heart disease,” says Hurst. “This is not a marginal issue for them.”

Part of this statistic--and the star of Good Meat--is Beau LeBeau (Oglala Lakota). LeBeau is obese; members of his family are obese; his diabetic mother recently passed away from diabetes.

A harshly comedic glimpse of rez life from the point of view of two babies. Featuring the 1491s.

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Films

Native stories that represent the cultures, experiences, and values of American Indians and Alaska Natives for your station!

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Current funding, job, and training opportunities that support the production of Native content. Plus, additional information for filmmakers.

Educators

Hands-on educational tools for middle school to college-aged students that increase the Impact of Native films in the classroom.