TV

Lincoln, Neb.: Spirit in Glass: Plateau Native Beadwork provides a rare opportunity to experience Plateau culture through the eyes and hearts of the artists themselves. Narrated by Nez Perce storyteller Nakia Williamson, the film focuses on bead artists from the Nez Perce, Umatilla, Warm Springs, and Yakama Reservations. The talented individuals behind this spectacular beadwork share their history, motivation, and the key role that beadwork plays in binding their culture together. This half-hour documentary from Mimbres Fever Productions and Vision Maker Media will air on Public Television stations nationwide with broadcast rights beginning October 24.

Truly an American story, the very essence of this art form and its story of survival is indeed a glimpse at the heartfelt tradition of a people. The documentary was filmed throughout the culturally rich northwest Plateau and mid-Columbia River regions with the mission of celebrating the Plateau People while respecting the vital role that their adaptability has played in their cultural diversity and maintaining of a tradition.

The beadwork tradition began to flourish during the restrictive times of the Reservation Period. Deeply rooted in the basketry traditions, skilled artists moved from geometric basket designs to floral motifs.

“Creativity and individuality is a shared Plateau cultural value. It is expressed in the woven flat bags and other artistic traditions,” commented Penny Phillips, director and producer of the film.

Adventurers, traders, and settlers began traveling through the area in the 1840s, bringing small glass beads in a variety of colors to trade for Native goods. Grandmothers started using beads as a medium to create and offer gifts to family members and trading partners, reinforcing traditional values while developing a new, artistic tradition. Beadwork became a way to show identity and to maintain culture.

One of the more memorable aspects of beadwork is the uniqueness of each beaded piece. For each beadwork creation holds special meaning for the person who made it and for the person for whom it was made.

“In the Indian way, when you give that special piece, it’s a way to heal your heart,” shared Rose Scott, a bead artist from the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs.

Pictorial beadwork is unique to the area. Since this style of beadwork started in a time of catastrophic upheaval, it serves as a metaphor for the vibrancy and survival of the Native culture. In order to keep their culture alive, the elders adapted by beading individual images and stories. And today, many artists have made a particular beadwork creation their specialty–as a contribution to their generation.

Spirit in Glass: Plateau Native Beadwork–which received major funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and Vision Maker Media–is an offering of the National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA). This half-hour documentary will be available to public television stations nationwide on Friday, October 24, 2014. This program is suggested for scheduling for Native American Heritage Month. For viewing information in your area, please visitwww.visionmakermedia.org/watch.

Lincoln, Neb.: All-star filmmaking duo–Comanche producer and director Julianna Brannum and executive producer Johnny Depp (TranscendencePirates of the CaribbeanThe Lone Ranger)–bring the story of politically influential Native American leader LaDonna Harris to Public Television stations nationwide with broadcasts beginningNovember 1.
LaDonna Harris reshaped Indian Country both in America and abroad. A Comanche from Oklahoma, she helped convince the Nixon administration to return sacred land to the Taos Pueblo Indians of New Mexico, founded the Americans for Indian Opportunity in 1970, and became a vice-presidential nominee in 1980.

LaDonna Harris: Indian 101 is a reflection of her political achievements, personal struggles, and the events that led her to becoming a voice for Native people. Raised on a farm in Oklahoma during the Great Depression, LaDonna did not attend college. However, she studied and learned alongside her husband, Fred Harris, who would become a U.S. Senator. Upon his taking office, she too undertook a public service role.

LaDonna is best known for her work in U.S. civil rights when she set the tone with a landmark legislation initiative that returned land to the Taos Pueblo Tribe and Native tribes of Alaska. She also served a pivotal role in helping the Menominee Tribe regain their federal recognition.

Her trailblazing efforts began when President Lyndon B. Johnson selected her to educate both the executive and legislative branches of U.S. government on the unique relationship that American Indian tribes hold within our nation. This education course was affectionately called “Indian 101″ and was taught to members of Congress and other federal agencies for over 35 years.

La Donna Harris: Indian 101 is the first documentary about the Native activist and national civil rights leader, LaDonna Harris. Brannum commented, “LaDonna’s unique and bi-partisan approach to political and social issues made her a much-loved and well-respected icon in Washington. Not only was she a major force in Indian Country, but the media loved her and high-level politicians sought her input.”

Held in the highest regard by her colleagues for countless social and historical achievements, LaDonna is now passing her knowledge on to a new generation of emerging Indigenous leaders. With participation from students worldwide, LaDonna has created an educational program that trains Native professionals to incorporate their own tribes’ traditional values and perspectives into their work while building a global Indigenous coalition.

LaDonna Harris: Indian 101–which received major funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and Vision Maker Media–is an offering of PBS Plus. This one-hour documentary will be available to public television stations nationwide on Friday, October 31, 2014, with rights beginning November 1, 2014. This program is suggested for scheduling for Native American Heritage Month. For viewing information in your area, please visit www.visionmakermedia.org/watch.

About Vision Maker Media
Vision Maker Media shares Native stories with the world that represent the cultures, experiences, and values of American Indians and Alaska Natives. Founded in 1977, Vision Maker Media, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) which receives major funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, nurtures creativity for development of new projects, partnerships, and funding. Vision Maker Media is the premier source for quality Native American and Pacific Islander educational and home videos. All aspects of our programs encourage the involvement of young people to learn more about careers in the media–to be the next generation of storytellers. Located at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, we offer student employment and internships. For more information, visitwww.visionmakermedia.org.

About PBS Plus
PBS Plus is an optional programming service for public television stations, providing fully underwritten series and specials. Over 99% of PBS stations subscribe to this service-reaching 100% national TV households. Annually, stations are provided with approximately 600 hours of programming.

New From Vison Maker Media

by Mike Martz on September 4, 2014

Now Available on DVD:
Our Fires Still Burn
The Native American Experience

The stories shared in Our Fires Still Burn: The Native American Experience are powerful, startling, despairing and inspiring. This exciting and compelling one-hour documentary DVD invites viewers into the lives of contemporary Native American role models living in the U.S. Midwest.

Watch the Trailer | Purchase the Educational Version
Buy the Home DVD

How Will You Observe
Columbus Day?

In light of the upcoming Columbus Day, we are puttingColumbus Day Legacy on sale from now until October 13. We hope this will allow more teachers to show this important film in their classes and more people to watch it with friends or family. We also provide a Viewer Discussion Guide to help teachers with their lesson plans and to provide a greater understanding of the topics covered in the film.

Watch the Trailer | Purchase the Educational Version
Buy the Home DVD | Viewer Discussion Guide

Now Available on DVD:
Navajo Film Themselves
(Home Edition)

Sol Worth, John Adair, and Richard Chalfen traveled to Pine Springs, Arizona, in the summer of 1966, where they taught a group of Navajo students to use cameras in the production of documentary films.

Watch the Trailer | Purchase the Educational Version
Buy the Home DVD

American Film Showcase Selects
The Medicine Game & Urban Rez

Congratulations to The Medicine Game and Urban Rez on being included in the America Film Showcase. The America Film Showcase is a major touring film program bringing American documentaries, feature films and animated shorts to audiences worldwide.

The Medicine Game: 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.

Buy the Home DVD

Purchase the Educational Version

Urban Rez explores the controversial legacy and modern-day repercussions of the Urban Relocation Program (1952-1973), the greatest voluntary upheaval of Native Americans during the 20th century.

Buy the Home DVD

Purchase the Educational Version

Educational Resources including Lesson Plans

Watch Online

Vision Maker Media Announces 2014-2015 Public Media Content Fund Awards 
Vision Maker Media is pleased to announce support for thirteen new projects for production, new media, and acquisition. Eleven producers and Public Television stations were selected for funding and two for acquisition for their documentaries by and about Native Americans and Alaska Natives.

Read More ….

Vision Maker Media Filmmakers Attend the National Native Media Conference
Native Filmmakers at the 2014 National Native Media Conference in Santa Clara, Calif., July 10-13, 2014. Pictured from left to right: Dan Golding (Quechan), Gary Robinson (Choctaw/Cherokee), Shirley K. Sneve (Rosebud Sioux), Rebekka Schlichting (Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska), Princella Parker (Omaha), Georgiana Lee (Navajo), and Pierre Barrera (Klamath/Lakota)
Recently, a group of filmmakers who have just been awarded funds from Vision Maker Media came to Santa Clara, Calif., to attend and present workshops on film production, new media, contracts and more to share knowledge with one another and to help them as they work to produce documentaries for distribution through public television. The workshops took place both before and during the National Native Media Conference (NNMC), which Vision Maker Media co-hosted along with Native Public Media and the Native American Journalist Association.

We asked the people that attended to share their thoughts on the experience. Read their blogs.

See photos from the NNMC on Facebook or Pinterest.

Sovereign Bodies Blog 
by Nikke Alex (Navajo)
We, as Native Peoples, do not have forums to talk about sex, sexuality, healthy relationships and reproductive justice issues, because these topics are taboo in most Native communities.

 

Read More…

 

Video Profile of Amanda Takes War Bonnet
Part of a Series About Reproductive Rights
Amanda Takes War Bonnet (Lakota) is the former managing editor of Indian Country Today, an award-winning weekly national news source for Native Americans in the United States, where she worked for fourteen years. She currently serves as public education specialist for Native Women’s Society of the Great Plains, a coalition of twenty-three organizations from seven states within the northern plains with the mission of ending domestic and sexual violence.
 

Visit the Site…