Civil RIghts

November 8, 2016
For 8 weeks, 12 American Indian high school students worked with media instructors John Gwinn and Tiana LaPointe, as well as special facilitator Bobby Wilson.

In the Beginning was Water and Sky is a short-form New Media project that tells two parallel stories about a Chippewa boy who runs away from an Indian Boarding School in the 1950s and a Chippewa girl who runs away from her village in the 1700s.

In 2012, a film that Randy Vasquez directed and I produced, called The Thick Dark Fog, was broadcast nationwide on PBS. The film tells the story of Lakota elder Walter Littlemoon’s journey of healing from his American Indian boarding school experiences. During the production of the film, we spoke to many Native elders who had gone to boarding school.

In the Alaska Purchase of 1867 the United States took on more than just the land. There were indigenous people living everywhere in Alaska. Like Native Americans in the lower 48, Alaska Natives struggled to keep their basic human rights as well as protect their ancient ties to the land. The Bill of Rights did not apply to them. Through extensive reenactments and rarely seen historic footage and photographs, 'For the Rights of All' reveals these remarkable people and their non-violent struggle for civil rights.

Ishi’s Return is a half-hour film about Ishi, billed in 1911 as the “last wild Indian,” when he wandered out of the woods in Oroville, California, and became a national sensation. When Ishi died, his brain was removed and sent to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. Eighty years later, his descendants in California fought to have his remains repatriated to his ancestral home. Ishi’s Return is from Native filmmakers Chris Eyre (Cheyenne/Arapaho) and Brian Wescott (Athabascan/Yup'ik) and producer Roberta Grossman (500 Nations, Homeland).

A stunning coming-of-age journey set on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Set against a background of rising tension and protest, a Lakota teenager learns first-hand what it means to lead a new generation and enter adulthood in a world where the odds are stacked against him.

 
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Should tribes like the Shoshone and Arapaho attempt to bring back beautiful ancestral objects—drums, pipes, eagle wing fans, medicine bags, weapons, and ceremonial attire that ar