Vision Maker Media FREE Native Films Streaming in January

40 Years, 40 Films, 40 Weeks: Watch Native Films streaming online now in celebration of Vision Maker Media's 40th anniversary.

A collection of 40 Native films originally featured on PBS are streaming for free in celebration of Vision Maker Media's 40th anniversary. The screenings began November 1 and will end August 7, with a different film scheduled to be screened each week.

All films in the series can be accessed at the American Archive of Public Broadcasting Blog.

The following titles are scheduled for January:

January 3: Games of the North: Playing for Survival / Feature documentary.

Games of the North - Courtesy VMM

Games of the North

Producer: Steven Wounded Deer Alvarez (Mescalero Apache/Yaqui/Upper Tanana Athabascan)

Director: Jonathon Stanton, Starseed Media in association with the Alaska Native Heritage Centre.

“For thousands of years, traditional Inuit sports have been vital for survival within the unforgiving Arctic. Acrobatic and explosive, these ancestral games evolved to strengthen mind, body and spirit within the community. Following four modern Inuit athletes reveals their unique relationship to the games as they compete across the North. As unprecedented change sweeps across their traditional lands, their stories illuminate the importance of the games today. ” - VMM

January 10: Weaving Worlds: Feature documentary.

Weaving Worlds - Courtesy VMM

Weaving Worlds

Producer/Director/Writer:Bennie Klain (Navajo), Trickster Films

Producer:Leighton C. Peterson, Ph.D.

Weaving Worlds highlights the untold stories of the personalities and characters involved in the making and selling of Navajo rugs. The film presents a portrait of economic and cultural survival through the art of weaving in the face of increased globalization. The result is a poignant digital portrait of Navajo artisans and their unique—and often controversial—relationship with white Reservation traders.” - Trickster Films

“Weaving Worlds” can be watched online here.

January 17: Indian Country Diaries: A Seat at the Drum: Feature documentary.

A Seat at the Drum - Courtesy VMM

A Seat at the Drum

Producer:Frank Blythe (Eastern Band of Cherokee/Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota), Founding Member of Vision Maker Media

Producer: Carol Patton Cornsilk (Cherokee), Adanvdo Vision, Inc

In A Seat at the Drum, journalist Mark Anthony Rolo (Bad River Ojibwe) journeys to L.A. and meets with American Indian families who were relocated from poor reservations to the cities in the last half of the 20th century.

According to PBS, “Rolo seeks to learn how urban Indians in Los Angeles parallel his own life as they preserve a tribal identity, survive economically and cope with the pressures of a federal relocation program and assimilation in a multicultural metropolis. This documentary series, produced by an all-Native American crew, offers unique insights into contemporary Indian life.”

January 24: Indian Country Diaries: Spiral of Fire:Feature documentary.

Spiral of Fire - Courtesy VMM

Spiral of Fire

Producer:Frank Blythe (Eastern Band of Cherokee/Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota), Founding Member of Vision Maker Media

Producer: Carol Patton Cornsilk (Cherokee), Adanvdo Vision, Inc

VMM describes the film accordingly: “When the federal government rounded up the Cherokees and other tribes in the Southeast, some Native people escaped and created their own community. Nearly 200 years after the Trail of Tears, Author LeAnne Howe (Choctaw) visits the Eastern Band of Cherokee in North Carolina to discover how tourism, community and cultural preservation are the keys in the maintaining the tribe's health and prosperity in the 21st Century.”

January 31: The Return of Navajo Boy: Feature documentary.

Return of Navajo Boy - Courtesy VMM

Return of Navajo Boy

Producer:Bennie Klain (Navajo), Trickster Films and Jeff Spitz

Director: Jeff Spitz

As described on, “The Return of Navajo Boy, an official selection of the Sundance Film Festival and PBS, is an internationally acclaimed documentary that reunited a Navajo family and triggered a federal investigation into uranium contamination. It tells the story of Elsie Mae Begay, whose history in pictures reveals an incredible and ongoing struggle for environmental justice.

This unique Sundance Film Festival 2000 selection weaves together all the different threads of the Cly family story, narrated by Elsie’s son Lorenzo Begay. Through this inside narrative of the Cly’s inspirational saga, The Return of Navajo Boy gives new meaning to old pictures and performs a healing miracle of its own.”


Vision Maker Media is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) who’s Public Media Content Fund awards support to projects with a Native American theme and significant Native involvement. Please visit for more information.

40 Films Poster - Courtesy VMM

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