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EARTH DAY - APRIL 22

Earth Day 2022: Invest in Our Planet

"This is the moment to change it all – the business climate, the political climate, and how we take action on climate.  Now is the time for the unstoppable courage to preserve and protect our health, our families, and our livelihoods.  For Earth Day 2022 act (boldly), innovate (broadly), and implement (equitably).  It's going to take us all.  All in. Businesses, governments, and citizens – everyone accounted for, and everyone accountable. A partnership for the planet."

The website offers listings of Earth Day events all over the world.

NMAI Living Earth Festival: Saving Sacred Spaces

April 22 - May 15. Ongoing online

Across the country, sites sacred to Indigenous communities are at risk because of environmental changes, population growth, tourism and natural resource extraction. At the NMAI, Living Earth is an annual event. In this year’s event is concerned with saving sacred spaces. Four films are screening and a panel of prominent Indigenous activists discuss their efforts to protect sites of cultural significance in Alaska, Hawai’i, and Utah, moderated by Cindy Benitez, NMAI Program Manager.

Panel

  • Dr. Rosita Kaaháni Worl (Tlingit) talks about X’unáxi (Indian Point) in Juneau Alaska
  • Dr. Lilikala Kame’eleihiwa (Native Hawaiian) shares updates on Mauna Kea, Hawai’I’s highest mountain
  • Angelo Baca (Diné/Hopi) updates the status of the restoration of Bears Ears National Monument in Utah

Films

Shásh Jaa’: Bears Ears US. Angelo Baca (Navajo/Hopi). Native American communities unite to protect this sacred site, 1.9 million acres of Utah wilderness, to designate it a National Monument and to protect it from resource extraction.

Water Flows Together US. Palmer Morse, Taylor, Matt Mikkelsen. Producer: Colleen Cooley (Diné). The importance of acknowledging Indigenous lands and Indigenous resource management in outdoor recreation as told by the producer, one of the Diné river guides on the San Juan River.

However Wide the Sky: Places of Power US. David Aubrey. Associate producer: Jhane Myers (Comanche/Blackfeet). Narrator: Tantoo Cardinal (Cree/Métis) The rich history and significance of the lands of the American Southwest, as told by tribal leaders, scientists, historians and educators, focused on Chaco Canyon, Bears Ears, Zuni Salt Lake, Mount Taylor, Pueblo of Santa Ana, Taos Blue Lake, Mesa Prieta and Santa Fe.

Into America’s Wild US. Greg MacGillivray. Narrator: Morgan Freeman. A cross-country adventure into the hidden wonders of North America--Alaska, Oregon coast, and the Appalachian Trail. Setting out on this journey are three trailblazers--astronaut John Herrington (Chickasaw), Alaskan pilot and youth advocate Ariel Tweto (Iñupiat), and long-distance hiker Jennifer Pharr Davis, who share a passion for connecting people to experiences in the wild.

Brooklyn Museum of Art 
Climate in Crisis: Environmental Change in the Indigenous Americas

February 14 - July 3. Tickets. In-person exhibition in Brooklyn, NY

The works in this exhibition connect to the environment in one of two ways: many objects reveal Indigenous understandings of the natural world, while others more directly address the threat climate change poses to Indigenous livelihoods and survival. From the Northern Arctic to the southern Amazon, Climate in Crisis follows the effects of glacial melt, droughts, wildfires, overexploitation of resources, displacement and extreme violence, as well as the work of Indigenous communities and activists to counter the climate crisis and protect the planet.  Curated by Nancy Rosoff, Andrew W. Mellon Senior Curator, Arts of the Americas.

IAIA Museum of Contemporary Art

Friday, April 22 - Sunday, April 24. In-person in Santa Fe. Screenings scheduled continuously

Inhabitants: Indigenous Perspectives on Restoring Our World US. Costa Boutsikaris

Native communities across the US are restoring their ancient relationships with the land. This documentary presents five stories--on sustaining traditions of Hopi dryland farming in Arizona, restoring buffalo to the Blackfeet reservation in Montana, maintaining sustainable forestry on the Menominee reservation in Wisconsin, reviving native food forests in Hawaii, and returning prescribed fire to the landscape by the Karuk Tribe of California. As the climate crisis escalates, these time-tested practices of North America’s original inhabitants are increasingly essential in a rapidly changing world.

DCEFF Watch Now - Online
A program of DCEFF/Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital

Free and VOD/video-on-demand. Ongoing online

DCEFF Watch Now is an online catalog listing hundreds of films with environmental topics that have screened in past festivals and are available online, this catalog is a bountiful resource. Many of the works stream for free from the website;. Some third party video providers — such as Netflix, Amazon, or Hulu — may require having an account with them or paying for access to their content. 16 feature-length documentaries and shorts grouped in the “Indigenous Voices” section. To honor Earth Day, on April 21-24 DCEFF puts online for free its 2022 Festival award-winning films.

21st UNPFII/United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

April 25 - May 8 In-person at United Nations Headquarters, New York, and online. Registration required for participating in sessions. Registration not required for viewing the live stream of the event.

"Indigenous peoples, business, autonomy and the human rights principles of due diligence including free, prior and informed consent" is the theme for this year’s UNPFII.

Indigenous leaders, activists and community representatives are participating in presentations and discussing possible actions to take locally and in the international arena. Registration required for participating in-person or online. View the sessions live. You can engage via social media following @UN4Indigenous and @UNDESASocial on Twitter and using the hashtags #UNPFII and #WeAreIndigenous

Four Indigenous issues being focused on:

  1. Indigenous languages which are 4,000 of the world’s 7,000 languages are endangered. 2022-2032 is the UN’s Decade of Indigenous Languages
  2. Indigenous resources are extracted without consent
  3. Indigenous rights are human rights and include a requirement of free, prior and informed consent
  4. This year’s Permanent Forum focuses on business, autonomy, and human rights principles

First Peoples Worldwide
University of Colorado

As the benefits of moving into green energy are being discussed, it is apparent that the social and environmental impacts of development may affect Indigenous peoples most deeply. The communities are often in the locations of vital resources of rare soils and minerals needed to move away from carbon-intense resources. First Peoples Worldwide at the University of Colorado is addressing these impacts. As part of UNPFII 2022 it is offering side events. On May 2, there is a panel, “Virtual Salt Training,” on the social impacts of development and on May 5 a workshop for Indigenous leadership focused on advocacy for the right to informed consent and for corporate commitments to protect Indigenous communities’ lands, resources and cultural heritage sites.

FILM FESTIVALS
In-Person / Regionally Online

Hot Docs Documentary Film Festival

April 28 – May 8. In-person in Toronto and online in Canada

The festival’s feature documentaries on Indigenous cultures and issues:

Beautiful Scars Canada. Shane Belcourt. Based on his memoir, Beautiful Scars shares Tom's remarkable gifts as an artist and storyteller as he learns about his Mohawk heritage and embarks on a healing journey that reflects on his past and present self.

Historjà - Stitches for Sápmi Sweden. Thomas Jackson. In Swedish, Sámi. With just a needle and thread, Britta Marakatt-Labba—internationally acclaimed Sámi textile artist and one of Sweden's most internationally sought-after artists—has produced powerful, artistic tapestries depicting the epic stories of Sámi history and mythology. Her threads stitch together Sámi culture and her own personal experiences with the wider global issues affecting Indigenous rights and climate change

Mom Mexico. Xun Sero. (Tzotzil Maya) In Spanish, Tzotzil. In this deeply moving dialogue between mother and son, Mexican Tzotzil director Xun Sero confronts his past with honesty, understanding and forgiveness. Growing up without a father, he blamed his mother. For her societal pressure and shame prevented her speaking about the realities of violence in her childhood and with the director’s father. Sero has created an extraordinarily sensitive first film where both mother and son open a dialogue in an attempt at self-discovery and healing.

On Suspicion Zokunentu Chile. Daniel Díaz. In Spanish, Mapudungun. As a younger man, famed Mapuche artist Bernardo Oyarzún was arrested, profiled solely based on his Indigenous identity. This is what it means to be Mapuche in the city. Now, director Daniel Díaz explores his uncle's prolific art of resistance. The film powerfully addresses the stigma he experienced as he challenged the ingrained racism within Chilean society.

Pakucha Peru. Tito Catacora. In Aymara. Immersed in the world of uywa ch'uwa, a family gathers to perform the ancient ritual dedicated to the pakucha, the alpaca's soul. Set deep within the breathtaking southern Andes, Pakucha opens to us the Aymara family's celebration and hypnotically guides us through their worldview in Andean culture.

Returning Home Canada. Sean Stiller. English, Secwépemc. Residential school survivors' testimony and the present peril of Pacific salmon come together in this evocative portrayal of the Secwépemc territory near Williams Lake. One individual from the area who's made an immeasurable impact by sharing her story is Phyllis Jack Webstad, the founder of Orange Shirt Day and a national speaker. And the Secwépemc people face yet another colonial oppression in the form of overfishing in the crucial Upper Fraser River salmon runs.

Unikkaat Sivunittinnit (Messages from the Past) Canada. Zacharia Kunuk, Paul Aarulaaq Quassa. In Inuktitut. In 1991, Igloolik Isuma Productions gathered 13 Igloolik elders for a week of discussion, to choose and then record 24 traditional ajaja songs considered most important to preserve for the future: where did the songs come from, how where they made and how have they been passed down generation to generation? Each elder remembers their own family's ajaja songs and explains how they were created by poets taking their words from their life experiences.

The Wind Blows the Border Brazil. Aura Faerman, Marina Weis. In Portuguese, Guarani. On the violent border between Brazil and Paraguay, a war is being waged around the expansion of agribusiness. On one side sits lawyer Luana Ruiz, the heiress to contested lands and one of the strongest supporters of president Jair Bolsonaro. Ruiz, like other ruralistas—rural wealthy elites and agribusiness producers who advocate for Indigenous cultural annihilation—has become empowered under Bolsonaro's anti-Indigenous agenda. On the other side sits teacher, Guarani-Kaiowá leader and activist Alenir Ximendes, who emerges as a powerful force against Ruiz, fighting for the protection of her community, their lands and Indigenous constitutional rights.

New Directors/New Films

April 20 - May 1. Tickets. In-person in New York

Children of the Mist Vietnam. Diễm Hà Lệ. In Hmong, Vietnamese. Screening April 30 and May 1.

Winner of Best Director award at IDFA 2021, the filmmaker is filming within a Hmong family, living in the highlands of Vietnam, focusing on a lively young girl, and on the confrontation of traditional culture with new ideas of modernity. When 12-year-old Di is subject to an unsettling matrimonial custom that creates rifts in her family, it threatens to alter her future forever. Q&A with the director follows each screening.

65th San Francisco International Film Festival

April 21 - May 1. Tickets. In-person in San Francisco

Founded in 1957, the San Francisco International Film Festival is the longest-running film festival in the Americas. The annual event features a range of marquee premieres, international competitions, compelling documentaries, short and mid-length films, Two features focus on Indigenous stories.

Ayoungman Canada. Larry Day and Holly Fortier (Fort McKay First Nation) On March 17, 2019, 24-year-old Kristian Ayoungman was fatally shot in a racially motivated murder that shocked the Siksika Nation. In two Alberta, Canada, communities, a movement arose demanding Kristian’s murderers be brought to justice. This candid documentary depicts the unity and resilience of the Siksika Nation and the town of Strathmore, Alberta, while also underlining the sobering reality that a high percentage of Canadian homicide victims are Indigenous people.

Utama Bolivia. Alejandro Loayza Grisi. In Quechua and Spanish. Elderly Quechua couple Virginio and Sisa live quiet, mundane lives in the Bolivian highlands tending to their herd of llamas. But the passage of time and an unusually long drought brought on by environmental change threaten their pastoral existence. When their grandson comes to visit and help them with the animals, he also tries to persuade them to join him in the city where family can care for them. A drama that provides subtle commentary on the impact of climate crisis and the loss of Indigenous traditions. Winner of Sundance Film Festival Jury Award for World Cinema - Dramatic. Being released online in May 2022.

TWO RECENT DOCUMENTARY FESTIVALS 

True/False Film Fest

March 3 - 6. In person in Columbia, Missouri

Features

Children of the Mist Diễm Hà Lệ. Ancient Hmong customs and modernity clash in the North Vietnamese mountains when a young girl resists societal pressures and forgoes marriage to pursue education.

Gods of Mexico Helmut Dosantos. The diverse communities of rural Mexico fight to preserve their cultural identity in the shadows of modernization.

The Territory Alex Pritz. The Uru-eu-wau-wau Indigenous Surveillance Team defends its land against a network of Brazilian farmers intent on colonizing its protected territory.

Shorts

Kalsubai Yudhajit Basu. An enchanting ethnographic film exploring the legend of the goddess Kalsubai who remains ingrained in the consciousness of the Koli tribe today.

Kicking the Clouds Sky Hopinka (Ho-Chunk, Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians). A personal reflection on descendants and ancestors using an audio archive of a familial language. 

It’s All True/É Tudo Verdade International Documentary Film Festival

March 31 - April 10. In-person in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro and online in Brazil

Features

The Territory Alex Pritz. The Uru-eu-wau-wau Indigenous Surveillance Team defends its land against a network of Brazilian farmers intent on colonizing its protected territory.

Goodbye, Captain/Adeus, Capitão Vincent Carelli, Tita. Produced by Video nas Aldeias/Video in the Villages. Before he passed in 2016, “Captain” Krohokrenhum, Gavião leader in Brazil’s Pará state, told his children and grandchildren about a civil war among factions of his people prior to the survivors’ transfer to the Mãe Maria Glebe.

Short

Tekoha Carlos Adriano. Private security guards burn a Guarani Kaiowa house on their reserve in Brazil’s Mato Grosso do Sul state and it is recorded on video by people in the community.

Upcoming Festivals with Indigenous Films

First Nations Film and Video Festival. May 1-10. Free. In-person in Chicago and online

Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. May 5-14. In-person in Los Angeles and online in California

DOXA Documentary Film Festival. May 6-16. In-person in Vancouver and online in Canada

Denver's Indigenous Film and Arts Festival. Monthly series. May 11. Free. Online.

CAAMFest. May 12-22. In-person in San Francisco and online.

Cascadia International Women’s Film Festival. May 13-22. In-person in Bellingham, WA. May 19-30. Online in region and nationally.

Date change: Sarasota Native American Film Festival will take place in September 2022

TALKING ABOUT

The Autry Museum of the American West
Marshall McKay Seminar for Empowering Native Knowledge "Perspectives on Native Art and Museums"

Fri., April 22 - Sat., April 23. Free. Livestreamed on Zoom on both days. In-person in Los Angeles on Saturday. Register for livestream and in-person sessions on the website.

Named in honor of Marshall McKay, former Chairman of the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation Tribal Council and the first Native person to serve as Chair of the Autry’s Board, the Marshall McKay Seminar seeks to empower Native knowledge. It will address topics that impact Indian Country—and beyond.

This year’s inaugural seminar delves into the significant changes that have reshaped museums and their relationship to Native history, culture, and art. The two-day symposium, livestreamed across Indian Country, features a variety of perspectives from Native artists, knowledge keepers, scholars, and museum professionals. Panels will explore how Native curators are changing the museum narrative, the role of tribal museums, and the interpretation of Native art, with a particularly deep dive into California Native art.

Friday, April 22

Opening Remarks by Lynn Valbuena (San Manuel Band of Mission Indians)

Session 1 Opening Keynote: Native Presence in Museums by W. Richard West, Jr. (Cheyenne/Arapaho), Autry Museum of the American West

Session 2 Native Curators in Context Today there are more Native Americans working in museums than ever before. Native curators play a critical role in the interpretation and presentation of culture and this session will explore how they balance the needs of community and museum priorities.

  • Patricia Marroquin Norby (Purépecha), Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • heather ahtone (Choctaw/Chickasaw Nation), First Americans Museum
  • Josie Lee (Ho-Chunk), Ho-Chunk Nation Museum and Cultural Center

Session 3 The Role of Tribal Museums With over 200 tribal museums in the US, these institutions play an increasingly important role in the interpretation and presentation of their culture and addressing the needs of their communities. This session will explore the importance of tribal museums from a variety of perspectives.

  • John Haworth (Cherokee Nation) Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums
  • Delphine Baker (Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation) MHA Nation Interpretative Center
  • Steven Karr Agua Caliente Cultural Museum

Session 4 Closing Keynote: Looking Forward by James Pepper Henry (Kaw/Muscogee), First Americans Museum

Saturday, April 23

Session 1 Defining Native Art Native American art serves a variety of audiences in multiple ways. From the collector to the museum/art gallery and tribal members, defining Native art can be challenging. This session will explore the diversity of Native art from three different perspectives.

  • Ashley Holland (Cherokee Nation), Art Bridges Foundation
  • Nancy Mithlo (Chiricahua Apache), University of California, Los Angeles
  • Celestina Castillo (Tohono O’odham), United American Indian Involvement
  • Dallin Maybee (Seneca and Northern Arapaho)

Session 2: Reflections on California Native Art At a national level, California is often missing from the Native American art discussion. The rich and varied landscape of California Native art is important, and this session will explore the texture of the works that have been and continue to be produced by California Native artists.

  • Amanda Wixon (Chickasaw Nation), Autry Museum of the American West
  • Mark Johnson San Francisco State University
  • Clint McKay (Dry Creek Pomo, Wappo and Wintun)
  • Weshoyot Alvitre (Tongva)
  • Leah Mata Fragua (Northern Chumash Tribe)

Session 3 Closing Keynote: Marshall McKay’s Legacy and Relationship to California Native Art by David Cartwright, Autry Museum of the American West

Vision Maker Media 
Native Filmmaker Public Summit

Saturday, April 30, 10:00 am - 5:00 pm CDT. Free. In-person in Lincoln, Nebraska and online. Register on the website.

More than 40 Native American filmmakers make presentations on Native issues and film in a day-long event open to the public, the final day of this year’s annual Vision Maker Media Producers Summit in Lincoln. More information about the sessions and online access are available on the VMM website.

Session topics:

  • Being Language Stewards through Film
  • Meet the National Multicultural Alliance (NMCA)
  • Native Warrior Legacies
  • Traditional Ways Through Food
  • Preservation of Culture Through Facts, Tribes, and Regions
  • Empowering Native Women
  • Natives Who Influenced Nebraska History
  • Our Love of Storytelling
  • Re-Imagine the Indian

KQED Forum

“Peggy Berryhill - "First Lady of Native Radio” 

Streaming online

Alexis Madrigal conducts a conversation with Peggy Berryhill, “the First Lady of Native Radio” and now the host of the Voices of Gualala, the flagship program of station KGUA in Gualala, California. Peggy Berryhill (Cherokee) has had a career of more than forty years focused on pushing back on Native stereotypes in mainstream coverage and she has collected and preserved hundreds of hours of interviews with Native community members. Her strong practice of community-focused radio led her to create the Voices program to interact on-air with people of Gualala in all walks of life.

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