TV

Horse Tribe, a new one-hour documentary premiering this November from Director/Producer Janet Kern, explores the renaissance of the legendary horse culture of the Nez Perce–with the help of a charismatic Navajo horseman, Rudy Shebala.

Shebala has an exceptional gift of equine expertise, but faces challenges in Idaho–a land far from his traditional Navajo home. His intuitive mentorship also guides at-risk teenagers to develop self-esteem through the strong medicine of horses. With his passion for Native American identity, he brings national attention to Nez Perce horse culture. However, Shebala’s personal demons ultimately imperil his accomplishments for the tribe.

Kern originally set out to the Nez Perce to portray children and society flourishing in the company of horses, and the adaption of an ancient equestrian tradition into one with a modern purpose. But as the story evolved over the years, it became more complex. A man was in crisis and a community was in conflict–leaving their beloved herd to an uncertain fate.

Horse Tribe is an epic story about the connection of human to animal, history to life, individuals to community, grief to resolve, and values to action. Through her own experience, Kern recounts, “The inexplicably generous instincts of a people who have experienced incomprehensible loss are a lesson, a mystery, and a gift to me and to everyone they touch.”

Horse Tribe received major funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and Vision Maker Media.  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.
(Lincoln, Neb.): Across the Creek, a new 30-minute documentary premiering this November from director/producer Jonny Cournoyer (Rosebud Sioux), explores the Lakota people’s struggle for the restoration of a cultural legacy. Broken by colonialism and with both the unbridled dreams and the painful reality of today, the film is a conversation between the elder and younger generations.
Faced with unfathomable challenges, Lakota peoples are taking steps to make a better life for their tribal members. A major initiative is to empower people who were once taught that Indian ways were inferior. In Across the Creek, everyday heroes are turning around this negative history by reclaiming stories, visions, and core values that once did effectively guide a healthy and productive tribal lifestyle. By looking at traditional family structure, spirituality, language, and values, they hope to build a sustaining vision for the future.

In Across the Creek, the land plays a major role. The screen fills with beautiful images of rolling plains, badlands, and Black Hills that are sacred to the Lakota. Ties to the land define the people, just as Lakota language allows them to fully express their worldviews and beliefs. Much of the effort to reclaim Lakota lifeways addresses tribal language and land in some way.

“It is a heavy shirt to wear,” explains Sage Fast Dog, who is striving to honor the role he has been asked to play in the lives of his students. A fairly new teacher who was drafted unexpectedly into teaching the Lakota language, Sage is not a fluent speaker and is learning many words right along with his middle-school students.

Sage’s mentor, the late Albert White Hat, is a Lakota studies icon. In his early days, he left the reservation in search of work, traveling from Denver to Los Angeles, barely scraping by at times–sometimes as a homeless person on the street. After returning to his homelands, he eventually was hired to teach Lakota culture by the same mission school that had denigrated it in his own boyhood. In addition to writing multiple books, White Hat later guided the Lakota Studies department at the reservation’s tribal college. He speaks in depth on the principles of traditional Lakota beliefs and values, the current state of the youth on the reservation, and his own hopes and visions for the future.

Sam Wounded Head, a medicine man whose first language is Lakota, speaks of his 50-year journey to find spiritual power. Sam’s wife, Norma, shares her memories of early life on the reservation and the importance family played in everyday life out in the country. The couple, now deceased, offer a moving glimpse of a generation whose window is closing.

Like others, Florentine Blue Thunder is convinced that Lakota language is the key to renewing a positive identity with the Native youth. Not only will it continue as a focus on both the educational and socioeconomic fronts, but in the context of daily life. If children can be raised in a nurturing, supportive environment as opposed to the negative reality that many face in high-poverty areas today, there can be personal healing.

Mike Prue is one such example. After spending his high school years in a blur of drugs and alcohol, even serving prison time for illegal drugs, he vowed to change his life. Mike began to embrace ceremonies and traditions. Today, he collaborates with medicine men who are still in their 20s. Similarly, Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation is engaging dozens if not scores of young people by authentically practicing culture. Nick Tilsen is a young leader who has found that–with a few visible examples of positive action–the most powerful strategy to healing is just “walking the talk.” Or put another way, “by crossing the creek.”

Across the Creek–which received major funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and Vision Maker Media–is an offering of PBS Plus. This half-hour documentary will be available to public television stations nationwide on Friday, October 31, 2014, with rights beginningSaturday, 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.

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…

 

WE WANT YOU TO WATCH, VOTE, AND SHARE!
 
Indie Alaska’s I am an Aurora Hunter is part of the PBS Online Film Festival – one of many short films from around the country produced by public broadcasters and independent film producers such as Independent Lens. We want you to watch, vote, and share online. Voting ends on July 31st. Don’t miss these films guaranteed to amaze and inspire!
 
With funding from theCorporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), Vision Maker Media’s Public Media Content Fund awards support to projects with a Native American theme and significant Native involvement that ultimately benefits the entire public media community.

Since 1990, filmmakers have been invited to submit proposals in various stages of their film–from research & development, to production, post-production/completion, and outreach.

All proposals are reviewed by a group of public television professionals, station programmers, independent filmmakers, educators, and executives from indigenous organizations.

“The goal of the Public Media Content Fund is to increase the diversity of voices available to PBS viewers,” said
Shirley K. Sneve (Rosebud Sioux), executive director of Vision Maker Media.

The final slate of documentaries represents Native voices and stories from across the United States including California, Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Montana, South Dakota, Texas, Washington,

and a couple documentaries will span coast-to-coast.

Funding was awarded as 18.2% New Media; 81.8% production, post-production, and completion; and an additional two projects selected for acquisition. Production provides funding for producers to film, record, and produce their documentaries.

Post-production funding allows for completion of documentaries already-in-progress. New Media provides for programs with primary distribution over the Internet such as vignettes and webisodes, as well as creation of community engagement materials. Acquisitions are provocative and engaging completed programs from independent or Public Television producers acquired by Vision Maker Media for broadcast.

In alphabetical order, the funded projects are:

 

Boarding School StoriesJonathon Skurnik

New Media

Board School Stories is an interactive new media website built around videotaped oral histories that will educate users about the history of the American Indian boarding school system–a policy of forced assimilation imposed on more than 100,000 Native American children between 1879 and 1975.

 

Injunuity 2Adrian Baker (Hopi)

Production

Injunuity 2 is a half-hour documentary made-up of nine short films using a mix of animation, music, and real Native voices. Together, the pieces create a thought-provoking collage of reflections on modern America from a contemporary Native perspective. (www.injunuity.org)

Lake of Betrayal: The Story of Kinzua DamPaul Lamont, Scott Sackett

Production

When the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers attempts to take their land to build Kinzua Dam, the Seneca people stand up to the government and prevailing political forces of the 1950s and 60s to save their culture, their sovereignty, and their way of life to preserve their future.

 

MankillerValerie Red-Horse (Cherokee), Gale Anne Hurd

Production

Mankiller explores the life of Wilma Mankiller, the first female Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation who led her people in building one of the strongest Indian Tribes in America. More than a biography, the program delivers an empowering message.

 

Metal RoadSarah Del Seronde (Navajo), Leighton C. Peterson

Production

For decades, thousands of Navajos worked the railroads, maintaining the trans-continental network. Metal Road explores the dynamics of livelihood, family, and the railroads through the lens of a Navajo trackman.

 

Navajo Math CirclesGeorge Csicsery

Production

Navajo Math Circles documents the meeting of two worlds where some of the country’s most accomplished mathematicians and math educators work with children and teachers in the underserved, largely rural Navajo educational system.

 

Neon BuffaloPierre Barrera (Klamath/Lakota), Jeff Franken,
Daniel Montano

Production

Neon Buffalo is a documentary film exploring the history of Indian gaming from the first bingo halls to today’s destination resorts. The film delves deeper into Indian Gaming than slot machines and black jack tables. (www.neonbuffalo.com)

 

Our Fires Still BurnAudrey Geyer

Acquisition

Our Fires Still Burn suggests how Native Americans can address the serious economic and social issues that affect them while respecting and understanding their heritage and what was done to them by European settlers and the United States government. The stories shared are fresh, uplifting, powerful, startling, despairing, and inspiring. (www.ourfiresstillburn.com)

 

Red Power EnergyLarry Pourier (Oglala Lakota), Lisa D. Olken,
Rocky Mountain PBS

Production

Red Power Energy is the first-ever, trans-media film project (TV, radio, web-exclusive videos, print articles, photos, and timelines) that explores the promises and perils of fossil fuel and renewable energy production on 14 American Indian reservations in a five state region–Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

Medicine Woman

Princella Parker (Omaha), Christine Lesiak, NET Television

Production

Medicine Woman is about healing and identity in the lives of Native women past and present. It weaves together the stories of the first Native American doctor, a woman born seven generations ago, and present-day Native healers.

 

The Blackfeet FloodBrooke Pepion Swaney (Blackfeet/Salish), Ben Shors

New Media

The media ignored the 29 victims of the worst natural disaster in Montana history, the 1964 flood on the Blackfeet Reservation.The Blackfeet Flood gives voice to the survivors to tell their stories through a mobile app and website that present a series of place-based short films, text, historic documents, and images. (www.sixtyfourflood.com)

 

Tribal JusticeAnne Makepeace, Ruth B. Cowan

Production

Tribal Justice is a one-hour documentary about the innovative work of two tribal judges, both remarkable women leaders who are using traditional forms of restorative justice to help heal their communities. (www.makepeaceproductions.com/tj)

 

Watchers of the NorthDavid Finch, Maureen Marovitch

Acquisition

Watchers of the North is an action-packed, six-part documentary adventure series following the training, patrols, and search & rescue missions of Canadian Rangers in two Nunavut communities. (www.watchersofthenorth.com)

 

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, visit www.visionmakermedia.org.

 Join us in 7 days for the third annual PBS Online Film Festival. This year’s festival features 25 short films from various station and producing partners. Stream the videos anytime from June 16 to July 31, and don’t forget to vote for your favorite videos.

The PBS Online Film Festival showcases diverse films fromIndependent Lens and POV, as well as collaborations with public television producers, including theCenter for Asian American Media,Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB),National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC)Pacific Islanders in Communications (PIC), and Vision Maker Media.

The festival highlights powerful stories from filmmakers across the country, while also providing an opportunity for producers to reach and engage a digitally-savvy audience. In its first two years, the festival garnered more than one million video streams and more than 50,000 votes.

This year’s selection features several locally produced short films from a variety of local PBS stations, including: Alaska Public MediaArkansas Educational Television Network (AETN)CET/ThinkTV (Cincinnati/Dayton),KLRU (Austin, TX)KQED (San Francisco)Louisiana Public Broadcasting,Vermont PBSWisconsin Media Lab and WCVE (Richmond, VA).

“PBS and member stations are committed to experimenting with new platforms to reach diverse audiences with high-quality and engaging content,” said Ira Rubenstein, Senior Vice President and General Manager, PBS Digital. “PBS is the home for independent film, both online and on-air, and we’re proud that the Online Film Festival has become an annual celebration of unique films representing a diverse array of voices and viewpoints.”

The films will be available for streaming across all digital platforms, including PBS.org, AppleTV, Roku, YouTube and PBS social media channels. Viewers are encouraged to vote for their favorite film to win the “People’s Choice” award. For updates on the festival, follow #PBSolff on Twitter.

Cama-i 2014 Highlights

by KYUK Staff on April 7, 2014