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Indigenous Film & Arts Festival

International Indigenous Institute for Resource Management presented with the Denver Museum of Nature and Science
Wednesday, December 8, 7:00 - 8:15 pm MT 
Free. Online. Available in US only.
Watch the film before the discussion.To get the streaming link (starting Dec 5) and to join the conversation go here.

From Earth to Sky Director: Ron Chapman. A film exploring the work and diverse philosophies of seven Indigenous architects from North America, followed by a discussion with architects, Danial Glenn (Crow) and Tammy Eagle Bull (Oglala Lakota), moderated by Mervyn Tano, President of IIIRM. “To me, the real test of what is Indigenous architecture is whether the Indigenous people it is serving actually see it as their own; they say ‘this is ours.’” Daniel Glenn  Trailer

Institute of American Indian Arts

MMIWG Program

Friday, December 3, 3:00 pm - 7:00 pm MT.  
Free. In-person in Santa Fe. Each film will have an earlier and a later screening. Discussion with director at 4:45 pm MT.

Somebody’s Daughter (1492 - Now) and Say Her Name Director: Rain. President Biden has said of the crisis of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls, “What’s happening to Indigenous women on reservations and across the United States is unconscionable and outrageous. And it is devastating that families are conducting their own searches for missing loved ones. It must end.” These two films address the MMIWG crisis, focusing on some of the highest profile cases to date in Montana and elsewhere, both to define the issue more clearly for the public and to demand urgent action from leadership. For more information

New York African Diaspora International Film Festival 
First Nation Films

November 26 - December 12

Tickets. In-person in New York. Online on various dates. Available in NY, NY, CT only

Between Fire and Water    Online through Dec 12
Directors: Anton Wenzel, Viviana Gómez Echeverry. In southwestern Colombia, the adopted Afro-Colombian son of a Quillasinga couple begins to rebel, frustrating his parents and community. The spiritual leader gives him permission to explore his roots and, with his parents’ support, he sets out to discover more about his past.

The Return of Navajo Boy    Online Dec 1 - 4
Director: Jeff Spitz. Producers: Jeff Spitz and Bennie Klain. An official selection of the Sundance Film Festival and PBS, this internationally acclaimed documentary amazingly reunited a Navajo family and then triggered a federal investigation into uranium contamination. It tells the story of Elsie Mae Begay through unfolding returns to her family, and then becomes part of an incredible and ongoing struggle for environmental justice.

Daughter of a Lost Bird    Online Dec 3 - 6  
Director: Brooke Pepion Swaney. Kendra Mylnechuk Potter was adopted into a white family and raised with no knowledge of her Native parentage. Serving as both investigator and witness, this beautifully personal film documents Kendra on her journey as a new mother to discover her Indigenous identity.

Loimata: The Sweetest Tears and Q&A    Online through Dec 12
Director: Anna Marbrook. This redemptive tale of waka builder and captain Lilo Ema Siope’s final years is a chronicle of journeys. Confronting intergenerational trauma head on, the Siope family returns to their homeland of Sāmoa. For Ema’s father, this is the first time back to his birthplace since leaving in 1959. The result is a poignant yet tender story of a family’s unconditional love for each other, and a commitment to becoming whole again.

The Khoekhoe Saga    Online through Dec 12  
Director: Johann Abrahams. In 1810, Indigenous Khoekhoe woman Sara Baartman was taken from Southern Africa and paraded on European stages as part of a freakshow. Only in 2002 were her remains brought back from Paris and buried in her ancestral home. Baartman’s return became a catalyst for the revival of Khoekhoean dignity and pride and the rebirth of Khoekhoean identity.

Gulpilil: One Red Blood    Online through Dec 12

Director: Darlene Johnson. The life of the late legendary Aboriginal actor and Australian icon David Gulpilil (c.1953 – 29 November 2021) was one of dueling lifestyles, with his movie star life on a completely different plane from his life as an Aboriginal village elder, and Indigenous director Darlene Johnson manages to capture intimate details from both. 

PBS American Masters

Free. Online until December 5

N. Scott Momaday: Words from a Bear  Director: Jeffrey Palmer. With animation, poetry and interviews, this film provides a rich profile of the life and thoughts of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Kiowa author and poet.

PBS Independent Lens

Free. Online.

Home from School: The Children of Carlisle Directors: Geoffrey O’Gara and Sophie Barksdale. 130 years after three Northern Arapaho boys died at Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania, members of the tribe set out from Wyoming to bring them home.

Anchorage International Film Festival

December 3 - 12. Tickets. In-person in Anchorage. Online in US only.

Indigenous programming in the festival includes a feature doc online and shorts from Canada, Mongolia, the Darién Gap rain forest in Panama, and the US, preceding features or included in various short film programs. Only some are online. The films below were all made in Alaska.

Newtok Feature documentary. Directors: Andrew Burton, Michael Kirby Smith. The film follows the residents of Newtok, Alaska, a Yup’ik village whose lands are melting into the sea with global warming, as they become America’s first climate refugees.

Short films from Alaska

Diiyeghan naii Taii Tr’eedaa (We Will Walk the Trail of our Ancestors) director: Princess Daazhraii Johnson. A grandfather teaches his granddaughter, a young Gwich’in mother, how reciprocity is embedded in all aspects of life. Keepers of the Shy Place director: Gianna Savoie. On the tiny Alaskan island of St. Paul a community battles to protect the ocean wilderness that defines them. Pinguat director: Joshua Albaza Branstetter. The story of an Alutiiq headdress, taken to France in 1872, and the cultural pride of thirteen contemporary Alutiiq artists. The Kathryn Treder Story director: Aalina Tabani for USA Rugby. Follows a young Alaska Native who plays for the USA Rugby’s Women’s National Team. Yupiit: Eye of Both Worlds director: Stephanie Alton. In Tooksook Bay, Alaska, songwriter Byron Nicholai engages a new generation of Yup’ik using rap and beatboxing.

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Garifuna International Indigenous Film Festival

Now through December 19. Tickets and passes. Online.

Broadly international programming looks at Indigenous and ethnic community peoples from Australia, Cameroon, Ecuador, Honduras, Japan, Taiwan, Russia, and the US. New films every weekend with varying start and end times, and full descriptions on the website focus on cultural diversity, traditional music, forced acculturation, learning traditions. Free films about Garifuna culture are also online.

Indigenous themed films on December 4-5 are included in two programs of short films and include the documentaries From Earth to Sky, on seven Indigenous architects from Canada and US, and Requiem for the Japanese Indigenous Souls, about a ceremony performed to release the souls of an Ainu leader and other Indigenous Japanese who died without burial.

Indigenous themed films on December 11-12 include La Lucha Sigue/The Struggle Continues, a documentary about the fight in Honduras of Lenca and Garifuna peoples against national megaprojects, as well as to confront the violence against them of narco-traffickers. In Ozhigaabawi/One Stands Ready Jingle Dress and Fancy Dancers perform on behalf of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. In Legacy of Woman: Journey of the Drum, Elaine Whitefeather narrates a story of the sacredness of the drum. 

Festivals with Indigenous Films in January

· Indigenous Film & Arts Festival. Denver. Online. TBA

· Sundance Film Festival. In-person in Utah and online. January 20 - 30, 2022

· Skábmagovat Film Festival. In-person in Inari, Finland. January 27 - 30, 2022


“In Dialogue: Smithsonian Objects and Social Justice”
Thursday, December 9, 5:00 - 6:00 pm ET  
Free. Online on Zoom. Preregistration required.

Why does accurate representation matter? Together with the National Museum of the American Indian, this key question is explored in relationship to a 1885 collotype of Sitting Bull and a1890 photograph of Princess Maria Ludwiga Theresia of Bavaria photographing Wild West performers. Registration is required to get Zoom link and each participant must register separately. “In Dialogue” is a monthly program for participants 18 or older in which educators from NPG partner with colleagues from across the Smithsonian to discuss how historical objects from their respective collections speak to today’s social justice issues.

NDN Collective - Radical Imagination Virtual Festival

Free. Streaming online.

This event celebrates the immersive and ingenious work of the inaugural 2020 cohort of NDN Collective’s Radical Imagination artists. Throughout 2021 NDN Collective supported each of the 10 grantees in focusing on visionary community-embedded projects--the theme of this year-end gathering is “Radically Imagining Indigenous Futures: From Art and Storytelling to Bringing Back the Buffalo.” The grantees, artists/community activists from Canada, Mexico, Hawai’i and the continental US, participate in 4 roundtables. Originally live online on November 12 and 19.

National Museum of the American Indian

“Conversation with Preston Singletary”
Free. Streaming online December 1, 2021 - January 31, 2022

A virtual conversation with internationally acclaimed glass artist as part of the upcoming exhibition Preston Singletary: Raven and the Box of Daylight opening at NMAI in DC on January 28, 2022. Singletary incorporates traditional Northwest Coast, especially Tlingit, imagery into his glass masterpieces.

Museum of Indian Arts and Culture - Santa Fe

“Clearly Indigenous: Conversations on Glass Art”  
December 1, 10 - 11 am MT  Free. Online. Register on website.

The MIAC’s two-pronged exhibition Clearly Indigenous: Native Visions Reimagined in Glass focuses on how Native artists have melded ancestral ways with new methods and materials in glass, while concurrently examining the historical narrative of how glass art came to Indian Country from a historical perspective. In this month’s program, Larry “Ulaaq” Ahvakana(Inupiaq) and Tony Jojola (Isleta Pueblo) are in conversation with MIAC assistant curator Lillia McEnaney.

“Native Pottery Demonstration Series”December 8, 10 - 11 am MTFree. Online. Register on website.

Featuring Santo Domingo potters Rose Pacheco and Billy Veale.

New York UniversityCLACS/Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Symposium “Indigenous Women and the New Constitution in Chile”
December 3 , 1 - 3 pm ET Free. Online. Register on website. In Spanish with simultaneous English translation.

In Chile, 155 elected representatives are currently writing a new Constitution. This Constitution will replace the prior one, imposed in 1980 under dictatorship, and will be the first participatory Constitution in Chile’s history.

Led by Mapuche linguist Elisa Loncón as President of the Assembly, this process has brought cautious hope to many for a changed country. The consequences of a new Constitution are perhaps especially salient for Indigenous people, who see in this an opportunity to introduce the notion of a new pluri-national Chile and to encode recognition of the rights of Indigenous peoples as well as Mother Earth. In addition, gender parity was a core aspect of the procedures selecting the constituyentes.

Exclusion based on gender and being Indigenous continues to be an issue. The current moment also has unleashed extreme expressions of racism against Indigenous people--targeted especially but not only at the 17 Constitutional assembly members elected under a requirement to include Indigenous participants--that is reverberating throughout Chilean society, as evidenced by the militarization of Mapuche territories and the expansion of resource extraction. The keynote speaker is Verónica Figueroa Huencho, associate professor at the Instituto de Asuntos Públicos of the Universidad de Chile, and panelists include Elisa Loncon Antileo (Mapuche), América Millaray Painemal Morales (Mapuche), Carmen Caifil Caifil (Mapuche), Alejandra Flores Carlos (Aymara), and moderator Gladys Tzul Tzul (K'iche' Maya).

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