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Native American Heritage Month 
Nov. 1 - 30

During Native American Heritage Month, watch films, including documentaries that tell moving stories of history and home, and comedy series that celebrate the many facets of living in America while being Indigenous.

World Channel (PBS)

In US throughout November (check for local listings) and online with PBS app and at PBS.org. Go to the website for direct links online to the titles and to the PBS app.

In Their Element On local TV (check listings), online, on YouTube, on PBS free app

Spotlights Indigenous leaders rising up to meet the challenge of the climate crisis. The film features four communities across the United States, each working to protect a different natural resource: earth, air, fire, and water.

Groundworks Starting Nov. 2 on TV, on PBS app.

The story of the four California Native co-creators of the Groundworks project – an immersive, year-long media collaboration that culminated with a performance on Alcatraz Island on San Francisco's first official Indigenous Peoples Day in October 2018. While weaving together these artists' stories and their contemporary ways of sharing traditional knowledge, the film explores land management issues, water rights and food security – concerns for all Americans, especially in an age of climate change.

Sisters Rising | America ReFramed Starting Nov. 10 on TV, online, on PBS app.

Native American women are 2.5 times more likely to experience sexual assault than all other American women, and 86% of the offenses are committed by non-Native men. Sisters Rising follows six women who refuse to let this pattern of violence continue in the shadows. Their stories shine an unflinching light on righting injustice on both an individual and systemic level.

KQED (PBS)

Above the Noise  This episode explores the LandBack Movement. The movement aims to reclaim ancestral lands in order to restore Indigenous governance over them, thinking about national parks, for example. In other words, it is an effort to get Indigenous land back to Indigenous people. Indigenous communities across the globe are experts at managing and protecting land. Is it time the U.S. finally returned STOLEN parklands back to them?

Vision Maker Media Film Festival | “Together”

Last Day! Nov. 13. Streaming from the website. “Together” encompasses a collection, group, and union in or one place. Vision Maker Media is celebrating “Together” by gathering Native American and Alaska Native films for its ninth biennial film festival.

Towards Right Relations | Pace Live

Wed Nov. 2. In-person at Pace Gallery, New York City. 

This event follows a series of working sessions—organized by both independent consultant, Dioganhdih Hall (Mohawk of Akwesasne), and the gallery over the past several months—centering on the uses and limitations of public land acknowledgements. This evening’s roundtable discussion is focused on the ways cultural institutions can move towards right relations with Indigenous communities and the role that art can play in that repair. Participants in the discussion will include artists and co-director of the Lenape Center. This upcoming event will also feature a reading of the gallery’s land acknowledgement, which was developed out of this process. The website also hosts essays by several of the participating artists

  • Nadema Agard (Cherokee/Lakota/Powhatan)
  • Jeremy Dennis (Shinnecock)
  • Mercedes Terrance (Mohawk of Akwesasne)
  • River Whittle (Caddo/Lenape)
  • Curtis Zunigha (Lenape/Delaware), Co-Director of Cultural Affairs at the Lenape Center in Manhattan.

National Museum of the American Indian
Youth in Action | "Reclaiming the Stage"

Can changing theater change the world? Join us in a conversation with young Indigenous actors and playwrights who are reimagining Native representation on the stage.

Panelists:

  • Emily Preis (Osage), Assistant Artistic Director of AlterTheater, San Rafael, CA
  • Isabella Madrigal (Cahuilla, Turtle Mountain Chippewa), playwright, Director of Indigenous Storytelling
  • Tara Moses (Seminole Nation of Oklahoma), playwright, Artistic Director of Red Eagle Soaring
  • Moderator: DeLanna Studi (Cherokee), actor, Artistic Director of Native Voices at the Autry

CCA Santa Fe - Youth Poetry

Sun Nov. 6, 5:30 pm MT. In-person in Santa Fe

The 2022 Santa Fe Youth Poet Laurette, Elena Gonzales, will be reading at this special, youth-focused poetry reading event taking place in the studio theater at CCA. Gonzales has curated a line-up of outstanding young poets, including the 2021 Youth Poet Laurette, Oz Lesham, alongside Joycelyn Shroulote (Navajo/Hopi), Jesse Begay(Diné), and Fernanda Rodas (Mexican-Salvadorian-American). Join us Sunday evening,

VOD, Festivals, Screening Series
Online and Hybrid

9th Biennial Vision Maker Media Film Festival
“Together”

Oct. 10 - Nov. 13. Free. Hybrid. In-person in Lincoln, Nebraska. Online at VMM website

“Together,” the theme for this year’s Vision Maker Media Film Festival, refers to our collective immersion into Indigenous stories. The festival offers approximately 30 outstanding Native American and Alaska Native films through 5 weekly programs and one program that continues throughout the festival.

Oct. 31-Nov. 6 Ooh Scary 
Three narrative films for Hallowe’en

The Dead Can’t Dance Rodrick Pocowatchit

The Vampire Upstairs Joseph Singh

Shadow Dancer LaRonn Katchia, Isaac Trimble

Nov. 7-13 History/Native American Heritage Month

Indigeneity: What Do You Call Us? | Diversity | Stereotypes Alexis Benten (Unangan/Yup’ik), Jade Begay (Diné, Tesuque Pueblo)

What Was Ours Matt Hames

Standing Bear’s Footsteps Christine Lesiak, Princella Parker (Omaha)

Oct. 10 - Nov. 11 Short Films/Youth Films

Injunuity Adrian Baker x 8 (Buried, Turtle Island, Two Spirit, Anthem, The Great Law, Tongues, Wampum, and Rez Babies). Injunuityis a mix of animation, music and real voices collected from interviews with Native Americans across the country to create a distinct view of modern America from a uniquely contemporary Native perspective.

Sister Wolves Ben-Aliix Dupris. An animation about love, jealousy and consequences. Based on an oral history from the San Pollregion of the Colville Confederated Tribes VMM 2 series and ongoing

First Nations Film and Video Festival

Nov. 1-10 Hybrid. Some programs are free. In-person in Chicago and online.

In various venues in Chicago, including the Field Museum and The Music Box, this festival of feature and short films includes a large selection of films from Latin America.

Tuesday, Nov. 1 Opening Night. Free. In person at The Music Box, Chicago

Rustic Oracle Narrative feature. Canada. Sonia Boileau. From the perspective of a young Haudenosaunee girl, this follows the search her mother and she undertake after the disappearance of her older sister. Behind the story of desperation, told through the eyes of a child, lies one of hope, growth, awakening and love.

Wed. Nov. 2 Eami Narrative feature. Peru. Marie Culerrier (Ayoreo). The Asojá flies, the bird-god-woman who transmutes spirit. She was a tiger, she was a plant, she was a jaguar, and today she is a girl who must heal her pain.

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Wed. Nov. 9 Once Upon a Time in Huasco Alto Chile. Polo Cortés, José Guerrero Urzua (Kolla) In a place in northern Chile where oral tradition, myths and history are mixed in a single mysterious universe, four stories take place surrounded by emotion, music and local identity.

Online programs include

Sunday, Nov. 6, 7:00 pm Yxayoti: Music of Ancient Mexico Mexico. Alberto A. Cuauhtlequezqui Lopez (Mexhica, Purepecha, Tarascan) The life work of the late Huichol maestro Xavier Quijias Yxayoti “Our goal is to resurrect this cultural identity through the preservation of ancient instruments, music, and dance demonstrating the diversity of our ancestry in Ancient America.”

Hawaii International Film Festival 

Nov. 3-27. Tickets. Nov. 3-27 online selections. Nov. 2-13 in-person in Oahu. Nov. 13-20 in-person throughout Hawai’i

In-person programs with Indigenous subjects include

Nov. 3 Opening Night In-person in Oahu. The Wind and the Reckoning Narrative feature. US. David L. Cunningham

1893. The Hawaiian Kingdom has been overthrown by a Western power just as an outbreak of leprosy engulfs the tropical paradise. The new government orders all Native Hawaiians suspected of having the foreign disease banished permanently to a remote colony on the island of Moloka’i that is known as ‘the island of the living grave’.

When a local cowboy named Ko’olau and his young son Kalei contract the dreaded disease, they refuse to allow their family to be separated, sparking an armed clash with brutal white island authorities that will make Ko’olau and his wife, Pi’ilani heroes for the ages. Based on real-life historical events as told through the memoirs of Pi’ilani herself. HIFF is honored to present this film as the Festival’s Opening Night Gala Presentation.

Nov. 6 "Pasifika Filmmaking: In Conversation with the Teams behind Kāinga and Makawalu"  In-person. Free with preregistration online

HIFF and Pacific Islanders in Communications (PIC) are honored to recognize Aotearoa-based producer Kerry Warkia. Originally from Papua New Guinea, she relocated to New Zealand for university and has since forged a vibrant film & tv career producing mainly Pacific Islander content, as well as providing mentorship This moderated conversation with Kerry and filmmakers discusses the cohort playbook that Kerry created with the film Waru to support Indigenous and female filmmakers and its impact on the future of Pasifika and NHPI storytellers.

Nov. 3-13 Tickets. Online in US only

Kapu Sacred Hawaiian Burials Feature documentary. US. Keoni Alvarez. Over twenty years ago, a young Native Hawaiian, Keoni Kealoha Alvarez, found his calling when he stumbled upon a secret cave in the woods near his ancestral home of Puna on Hawai‘i Island. Inside this cave were iwi, the sacred bones of Kānaka maoli from generations past. At only eight years old, Keoni could not begin to imagine how this discovery would change his life.

In 2002, Keoni’s district became the target for developers who sought affordable property on the island. Faced with a powerful, wealthy outsider who threatened to plow through the cave near his home, Keoni found himself in his own David vs. Goliath scenario. KAPU “Sacred Hawaiian Burials” will take viewers along Keoni’s journey in realizing his identity, heritage, and ultimately his legacy within the tradition of protecting his land for his people. Until Keoni knows what will happen to the property, he will remain the keeper of this cave to prevent this burial ground from going under.

FILM FESTIVALS and SCREENINGS
In-person in Denver, St. Louis, Los Angeles, New York

19th Indigenous Film & Arts Festival - Monthly Series
Living in Balance: Anishinaabe Star Knowledge

Wed. Nov. 9, 6:00-7:30 pm MST. In-person at Denver Museum of Nature & Science Planetarium. Free with registration at website. 

A full-dome presentation in the planetarium featuring teachings about the stars, planets, seasons, waters, all living things, and how to live a good life and respect the lands. The stories, moons and constellations are brought to life through the exquisite artwork of Elizabeth LaPensée and narration by Aarin Dokum. The program presents traditional Anishinaabe stories and contemporary insights of how star knowledge reveals the impacts of climate change and how it has affected the environment as a result.

St. Louis International Film Festival

Nov. 3-13. Tickets. In-person in St. Louis, MO. Online in Missouri and Illinois only.

Oyate Documentary feature. US. Emil Benjamin & Brandon Jackson

In the wake of the Dakota Access Pipeline protests, Indigenous people across the nation are using their newfound platform to shed light on the wide array of injustices committed against them for centuries, in an effort to awaken the world and begin the process of decolonization.

Utama Narrative feature. Bolivia, Uruguay. Alejandro Loayza Grisi

In the arid and hauntingly beautiful Bolivian highlands, an elderly Quechua couple has been living a tranquil life for years. While he takes their small herd of llamas out to graze, she keeps house and walks for miles with the other local women to fetch precious water. When an uncommonly long drought threatens everything they know, Virginio and Sisa must decide whether to stay and maintain their traditional way of life or admit defeat and move in with family members in the city.

Online in MO and IL Uyra: The Rising Forest Uýra, a trans Indigenous artist, travels through the Amazon forest on a journey of self-discovery, using performance art and ancestral messages to teach Indigenous youth and confront structural racism and transphobia in Brazil.

UCLA AISC Native Film Festival 
“DISTANT: Centering Indigenous Feminisms in Film”

Nov. 4, 7-10 pm PT. In-person at UCLA in Los Angeles.

DISTANT is a film collaboration between photographer and visual artist Keli Mashburn (Osage) and School of the Art Institute of Chicago poet and scholar Elise Paschen (Osage). The work was conceived and produced during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when physical distancing and isolation evoked a “shadow life” existence. This dream-like perspective creates a potent lens from which to consider our collective relationship to land, water, and space – the eternal and timeless features that offer rare moments of reflection in our consumer societies. Keli Mashburn states, “I hope our piece encourages reflection, and inspires unity as we move forward into an uncertain future together.”

Mashburn, who was born and raised on the Osage Indian Reservation in northeastern Oklahoma, is known for her work in black and white landscape photography and has exhibited at the Venice Biennale. Paschen, (Ph.D. Oxford University) is an esteemed poet who served as Executive Director of the Poetry Society of America for over a decade. DISTANT synthesizes these two artists’ unique approaches in a visual poem. This film festival centers land as a primary connective subject with human and other-than-human relatives. DISTANT is an official Native November heritage month event sponsored by the UCLA American Indian Studies Center and is free and open to the public.

The screening also includes the short films Tongues (2022, Dir: Tanya Tagaq), Water Flows Together (2021, Dirs: Palmer Morse, Taylor Graham, Matt Mikkelsen), Letter to Codelco (2016, Dir: Pedro Pablo Celedón), and The Wing Eater (2011, Dir: Nicole Emmons) along with the feature documentary Scenes From the Glittering World (2021, Dir: Jared Jakins). The directors of DISTANT, Keli Mashburn and Elise Paschen will be in attendance for a panel discussion and question and answer session following the screening of their film.

City College Center for the Arts
Savage Land

Nov. 3, 6 pm EDT at CCNY’s Aaron Davis Hall, New York City 
Nov. 5, 12:30 pm EDT at the Plaza Cinema, Patchogue, Long Island

Savage Land Feature documentary. US. Dr. Henrietta Mann, Campbell Daglish. An examination of the fatal police shooting of 18-year-old Cheyenne Arapaho Mah-hi-vist Red Bird Goodblanket. A discussion follows with the filmmakers and members of the Goodblanket family.

READING ABOUT 

Promoting and Protecting the Arts and Cultural Expressions of Indigenous Peoples: A Compendium of Experiences and Actions, ed. by Tony Belcourt, Heather Igloliorte, and Dylan Robinson. This 2021 publication brings together over 30 contributors in conversation on these topics. A website for the project featuring additional perspectives is expected to launch in 2023. The editors invite those interested to download the original digital publication for free here.

Visualizing Genocide: Indigenous Interventions in Art, Archives and Museums ed. by Yve Chavez, Nancy Marie Mithlo, with Foreword by Charlene Villasenor Black. Hardcover, paperback, E-book. Visualizing Genocide examines how creative arts and memory institutions selectively commemorate or often outright ignore stark histories of colonialism. The essays confront outdated narratives and institutional methods by investigating contemporary artistic and scholarly interventions documenting settler colonialisms including land theft, incarceration, intergenerational trauma, and genocide. Interdisciplinary approaches, including oral histories, exhibition practices, artistic critiques, archival investigations, and public arts, are among the many decolonizing methods incorporated in contemporary curatorial practices.

TALKING ABOUT

Forge Project
“Gentrification is Colonialism: Anti-Institutions and Indigenous Liberation”

Sat. Nov. 5, 2 - 5 pm EDT. Free. In-person in Ancram, New York

Forge Project, a new Native-led arts and decolonial education initiative based in Ancram, is hosting a three-part public series of dialogues and intimate conversation sessions, “Gentrification is Colonialism,” between local organizers, community members, and Indigenous activists whose work fights against gentrification, the housing crisis, “sick” architecture, and the ways in which artists and cultural spaces are complicit in their construction.

Panelists:

  • Tania Willard, 2022 Forge Project Fellow and Bush Gallery co-founder
  • Audra Simpson, Anthropologist, Columbia University
  • Moderator: Jamie Sanin, Celebrate845

The first panel in this series, hosted at Forge Project, looks to Indigenous models of refusal, resistance, and organizing both on-reserve and in urban centers as a means to critically examine the relationships between art and gentrification and gentrification and colonialism. Forge Project hopes to be a conduit for conversations around historical displacement and hold itself accountable for the ways in which its presence in the Mahhicannituck (Hudson River) Valley affects the current rise in economic and physical displacement while fostering a cultural “re-placement” of indigenous people to our region.

National Museum of American History 
National Museum of the American Indian 
“’Nourish Your Body, Nourish Your Spirit’ with Ancestral Food”

Fri. Nov. 4, 12-1:15 pm EDT. Free. In-person at NMAH in Washington DC

Mother-daughter duo Elena Terry and Zoe Fess address the health and well-being of their community, the Ho-Chunk Nation, by reviving and sustaining ancestral foods. During this program, which is geared toward youth audiences, guest chefs Terry and Fess will speak about the work of their non-profit Wild Bearies, a seed to table organization, that shares indigenous food cultures and traditions within the Ho-Chunk Nation and beyond. They will speak about their roles as community mentors but also their commitment to being life-long leaners, which has proven key to Wild Bearies’ success. Co-sponsor UN Food and Agricultural Organization.

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