What Was Ours

What Was Ours

Rights

Category/Status:

An Eastern Shoshone Elder and two Northern Arapaho youth living on the Wind River Indian Reservation attempt to learn why thousands of ancestral artifacts are in the darkness of underground archives of museums and churches, boxed away and forgotten. Like millions of indigenous people in many parts of the world, they do not control their own material culture. It is being preserved, locked away, by ‘outsiders’ who themselves do not know what they have.

These beautiful ancestral objects—drums, pipes, eagle wing fans, medicine bags, weapons, and ceremonial attire are far from home, their meaning slowly being lost to time. Should tribes attempt to bring them back? Many want to, including our three main characters. But why do they want them back? What answers do they seek from these artifacts? How can they take control of their own past? Is recovering what’s lost even possible anymore?

Resources

 
 

Filmmakers


• Four Films on Special to Mark June Events
• 'Navajo Code Talkers' Featured on AAPB Through June 12
• Native American Perspectives on Law Enforcement
• 40 Years | 40 Films | 40 Weeks | June Films
• Upcoming Screenings
• New! Viewer Discussion Guide: We Breathe Again
• Two New Films Screen Together on the Navajo Documentary Film Tour
• Job Opportunities
• Film Festival Opportunities
• Training and Other Opportunities
• Funding Opportunities
• Fellowship and Internship Opportunities

Educators

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