North American Indian Studies

A Choice for K'aila

This memorable film asks who should decide on aggressive medical intervention for infants. The parents or society?

Buried Stories

Buried Stories reveals the life story of a Native American (Ohlone/Esselen) Ella Rodriguez, who, in her seventies, still resents that she was taken from her rural California home at age thirteen and sent to an Indian boarding school. After running away from the school and becoming ensnared in the juvenile justice system, she was forced into marriage by a parole officer at eighteen, then labored as a migrant worker.

Dineh Nation: The Navajo Story

Dineh Nation: The Navajo Story

This powerful film, with its haunting Native American music, was filmed on the Sovereign Dineh Indian Reservation which stretches through parts of Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah. Here the Navajo people have lived on vast deposits of oil, coal, and uranium. Their religion considers Mother Earth sacred and forbids them from exploiting her resources. But outside forces are at work, strip mining the coal and polluting the water. The sweet wells on Dineh land are drying up.

False Promises: The Lost Land of the Wenatchi

False Promises: The Lost Land of the Wenatchi

"Our Wenatchi Reservation was taken from us in 1894. Our hunting and fishing rights were also taken at that time, against our wishes. Many of our tribesmen are scattered in various parts of the State of Washington where the land is poor...We, the Wenatchi Indians, wish to have our fishing and hunting rights restored to us in the Wenatchee Valley and forests." (Chief John Harmelt, 1933)

Honorable Nations

Salamanca, New York is the only city in the United States that is situated entirely on land owned by Native Americans. For 99 years, the townspeople have rented the land upon which their homes stand from the Seneca Indians for $1 a year. They have gotten used to their right to live and to do business on Indian property. But on February 19, 1991, the lease expired.

Kennewick Man: An Epic Drama of the West

On July 28th, 1996, two college students stumbled upon an anthropological find that would change forever the way North Americans view their past. While holding hydroplane races on private land on the Columbia River in Kennewick, Washing, Will Thomas and Dave Deacy noticed a human skull mired in the mud. It turned out to be one of the oldest and most complete skeletons ever found in North America.

Lady Warriors

Lady Warriors

In addition to their stories are brief glimpses of Hopi and Navajo life. Sequences include scenes shot on the Hopi reservation as well as a Navajo puberty ceremony. This award winning film is about the will to succeed, about the importance of age-old traditions and the struggles of minority girls to grow up in today's America.

Midnight Son: A Nunamiut Village in Alaska

Midnight Son: A Nunamiut Village in Alaska

Alaska has undergone a rapid transformation from traditional Eskimo life to modern living in an extraordinarily short period of time. The Nunamiut Eskimo village of Anaktuvuk Pass, is at once a microcosm of this larger transition and markedly unique. The three hundred residents of this small, isolated town are the only tribe of inland Eskimos in the world, comprising their own linguistic group and biological heritage.

Mundo Milagroso (Miraculous World)

In Texan communities along the Rio Grande River, there is a vibrant mixture of Spanish Catholicism and Indian mysticism. For hundreds of years, various saints and religious figures have made appearances to a receptive public. This film takes a respectful look at the current manifestations of these symbols of faith and the people who hold them dear.

Native Silence

Native Silence is a solemn account of the legacy of forced adoption on Native American children, torn from their tribal communities and placed in foster care and boarding schools. Joyce, is a recovered drug-addict and now mental health worker, and Paulette, a mother who ‘doesn’t associate’ with the Natives in her town.

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