The responsibility of being a trickster

Indian Country Today

Filmmaker Missy Whiteman joins the newscast to talk about the work on one of her upcoming films, and reporter Kolby KickingWoman is on the show to talk about a developing story.

Northern Arapaho and Kickapoo filmmaker Missy Whiteman joins the show to talk about the All Indigenous, All female virtual film festival she's been selected for.

Plus reporter/producer Kolby KickingWoman is on the show to talk about the kick off of the National Congress of American Indian's virtual conference.

Quotes from today's show.

Missy Whiteman:

"Charlie's Virtual Bike Ride is actually a trailer for a 360 video of the same experience. One of the things about The Coyote Way: Going Back Home project that I'm working on currently is that it's a trilogy. So this is the second installment of a three-part trilogy. The first is a film called 'The Coyote Way: Going Back Home.' And it's a short sci-fi docu narrative. It's an sci-fi film about a young boy named Charlie who has to make a decision on whether or not he wants to join a gang or go on an epic pilgrimage. It was filmed in the twin cities at the Little Earth of United Tribes housing projects which is the only one in the US and that was actually founded by the American Indian Movement and who we like to call uncle Clyde, Clyde Bellecourt."

"Well in the journey that we filmed this at this sector, it's really about him being immersed in the environment of Little Earth of United Tribes and introducing different characters that are also in the film. And it's also passing on that responsibility as being a trickster. So we have an older trickster in the film who is played by my dad and he passes that knowledge on to Charlie. And so that's really like passing on traditions and passing on that responsibility. And how do we move that forward?"

"So really my dad was my main mentor. He was the person that taught me to see with an artist's eye, with the vision and to also incorporate a lot of our teachings, a lot of her lessons into our work. And then also we talk about our ancestors and the messages that they have. And then we talk about the spirit world and we talk about creator and in that way we're also replicating and honoring that process of creation. And then we send that to the people or whoever, it touches. And then we also think about how do we carry that onto the future? And that's why youth media and working with young people is so important because we say we want to change media. We say we want to change how we produce, especially for women and Indigenous women, but we have to begin with the future generations and the young people in order to do that."

Kolby KickingWoman:

"It seems to be going well. I'm sure you've been to the annual convention in the past. It's usually pretty robust with tribal leaders from across the country convening and able to see each other for the couple of times they do throughout the year to catch up and conduct business. With everything going virtual, there were a few hiccups technically to start, but they seemed to power through. The big news of the morning was in the opening remarks. Kevin Allis, the chief executive officer of the organization, announced his resignation. Although it's not immediate he said he will be transitioning out in the next couple of months."

"One of the goals that he said that they've achieved in his time there was acquiring financial stability for the organization. I didn't get a chance to listen to the financial report, but it seemed like they were in a good place. And like many organizations similar to us, they've been working remotely for a while now. It took a while to adapt to but business for Indian Country doesn't stop. And so they didn't either."

"The theme of the annual convention is truth and reconciliation. It's something that president Fawn Sharp mentioned in her opening remarks and as well as something that she called back to that she said during the state of Indian nations address in February, I believe she called it a new era in federal Indian policy and recently wrote an op-ed that was published online, calling for a truth and reconciliation commission that would look into what really happened, coming to terms with what happened, to the Natives in the past."

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Patty Talahongva, Hopi, is executive producer of Indian Country Today. She is also the anchor of the weekday newscast. Follow her on Twitter: @WiteSpider.

Kolby KickingWoman, Blackfeet/A'aniih, is a reporter/producer for Indian Country Today. He is from the great state of Montana and currently reports for the Washington Bureau. For hot sports takes and too many Lakers tweets, follow him on Twitter - @KDKW_406. Email - kkickingwoman@indiancountrytoday.com 

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