And Now We Rise

And Now We Rise

2018
57

And Now We Rise is a portrait of Samuel Johns, a young Athabaskan hip hop artist, founder of the Forget Me Not Facebook Group for displaced people in Alaska, and activist for a cultural renaissance as he heals from his own legacy of historical trauma.

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We must highlight these positive stories as they unfold and which can provide a model for the rest of the state and world. We must examine the values of “community” and “context” in these stories, providing viewers with understanding of different lifestyles, which may currently seem foreign or inaccessible.

I have lived and worked with Alaska’s indigenous population since 1979. So many of the stories have been heartbreaking- assault and abuse, alcohol, suicide, homelessness, fetal alcohol syndrome, cancer and heal challenges unique to regions of our state. There is a change I have been sensing and wanting to share. We have the opportunity to showcase this change for our state, country and world.

It is a most empowering and uplifting story of our native people that I have the chance to share, and I hope that my love for our people is shown in my story telling.

Acknowledging historical trauma is a huge step in the grieving process, which comes before healing. For instance, when Spotlight hit the theatres, what people didn’t know was those priests were sent to Alaska! Those priest worked at boarding schools that Jack Dalton writes about- his own father is one of them. Same, which his Forget Me Not Facebook page - is showing how social media can be a big part of changing attitudes. Princess is working with the President on decisions about native lands. The general public needs to understand the impact historical trauma has had on our indigenous people, and how they are becoming involved and becoming the change. The change is brewing, and it’s hopeful.

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