Oneida

When you hear the phrase "Native American music" you may not think of tubas, trumpets and Sousa marches. Yet, this rich musical tradition has been a part of Native American culture for over one hundred years. Sousa on the Rez: Marching to the Beat of a Different Drum is a half-hour documentary that offers viewers an unexpected and engaging picture of this little-known Native music scene. The film challenges viewers to expand their definition of Native American music and broadens their understanding of contemporary Indian life.

The history of lacrosse in North America is a rich and multi-layered one. Much more than a Native American ball and stick game, lacrosse is a cultural window into Native American communities and their historical relationship with each other and the dominant culture.

Two brothers from the Onondaga Nation pursue their dreams of playing lacrosse for Syracuse University. With the dream nearly in reach, the boys are caught in a constant struggle to define their Native identity, live-up to their family's expectations and balance challenges on and off the Reservation.

Follow-up series now available
The Medicine Game: Four Brothers, One Dream

Jennifer is Oneida and Lakota. She was raised mostly in Wisconsin close to her Oneida culture. Jennifer's Oneida name is Wakoshi.yo and it translates to "a bird with colorful feathers," or "peacock." She participated in the traditional Oneida naming ceremony and was given her name from her grandmother. Jennifer incorporated her Oneida name in her artwork and named her website after it.

When you think of Native American music, do marching bands, trumpets, clarinets and flutes come to mind? If not, Cathleen O’Connell has a story for you.

In her latest documentary, Sousa on the Rez: Marching to the Beat of a Different Drum, O’Connell uncovers a musical tradition that has largely been forgotten in America--the Native American marching band.

In Shelley Niro’s debut feature film, Kissed by Lightning, a Mohawk woman works through the grief surrounding the death of her husband by painting the stories he used to tell.

How much influence did that existing democracy have on our Founding Fathers and on documents such as the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution? More than you know.

Lacrosse is a modern sport with deep roots in Native American cultures throughout North America. “[Today] It is the fastest growing sport in America,” explains Michelle Danforth (Oneida), co-producer of the new documentary film Sacred Stick. The documentary explains the origins of Lacrosse within Native American cultures; the spiritual background of the game, as well as stories from early European contact with the game.

The purchase of Manhattan Island from America’s original inhabitants has become a well-known fact in the average American’s trivia arsenal. What is likely lesser known about Native peoples in The Big Apple is the existence of a small community of Kahnawake Mohawk Indians from a nearby Canadian Reserve that has thrived within 10 square blocks of the city even into today.

This comedy explores the interaction of two Minnesota cultural groups, American Indians and philanthropic foundations. Stars Charlie Hill.

When Michelle Danforth (Oneida) set out to begin her career, creating films was a distant aspiration. After graduating with an MBA focused on accounting, Danforth began working at Options for Independent Living, a non-profit organization that helps people with disabilities. Although she enjoyed marketing and finance, there was always a lingering interest in producing and creating films.

Patty Loew wants to change the role of Native Americans in the media.

Loew, a professor at the University of Wisconsin, spent 12 years as a co-anchor for ABC in Madison, Wis. She feels that it is important for Natives to be involved in both local and mainstream media.

“Radio and television are really culturally compatible with who we are as Native people,” said Loew.

“To be able to blend sound and picture, and be able to tell stories in the oral tradition, I think is just really in sync with who we are.”

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