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National Native American Heritage Month

Alexander Street Films

Lakota Nation vs United States

A provocative, visually stunning testament to a land and a people who have survived removal, exploitation and genocide – and whose best days are yet to come.

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How do you tell someone their loved one has been killed in combat? With a knock on the door, the life of the family will never be the same. This sensitive documentary looks at the casualty notification officers who are tasked with delivering the news, with humanity and compassion. Filmmakers Aya Elia and Ohad Milstein give us an intimate glimpse into the training of the IDF soldiers who shoulder this responsibility and the emotional toll this takes on them, while Elia reflects on the loss of her own brother during an ambush in Lebanon 25 years ago. "In 2016, the world turned its eyes to the people of Standing Rock as they formed a coalition of unprecedented magnitude to defend their land and water from the threat of the Dakota Access Pipeline. An inflection point for human rights and environmental justice, the #NoDAPL struggle became a rallying cry for Indigenous people everywhere to take a stand against the myriad injustices committed against them for centuries. OYATE elevates the voices of Indigenous activists, organizers, and politicians as they offer their perspective on that complicated history, contextualize the #NoDAPL movement, illuminate the interconnectivity between the issues facing Indian Country today, and look towards a more sovereign and sustainable future for their people."

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Sarah Winnemucca

The first Indigenous woman to publish a memoir, Paiute educator and activist Sarah Winnemucca campaigned tirelessly for the rights of Indigenous Americans.

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Native America Women Rule

What was the New World like before it encountered the Old? Now, scientific expeditions in North and South America are woven with drama recreations to investigate and present a new vision of America, and how the clash of civilizations forever altered the history of our world. Episode 3: Native women are leading, innovating and inspiring in the arts, politics and protecting the planet. NATIVE AMERICA explores the diverse ways they carry forward deep traditions to better their communities, their lands and the world.

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Native American Boarding Schools

For over a hundred years, the U.S. government used education as a tool to assimilate Native American children into American society - by systematically erasing their history, culture, and language.

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Films on Demand

Mary Ross

History Shorts: The Cherokee Woman Who Helped Win the Cold War

Mary Ross is one of the first Native American women to ever become an engineer, and had a part in some of the most important, and secretive, projects during the Cold War. Distributed by A&E Television Networks.

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The Warrior Tradition

The film tells the astonishing, heartbreaking, inspiring, and largely-untold story of Native Americans in the United States military. It chronicles the accounts of Native American warriors from their own points of view.

Distributed by PBS Distribution.

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History Shorts: The Native Americans Who Helped Victims of the Irish Potato Famine

An unlikely bond between the Native Americans and the Irish shows the best of humanity in the darkest times. Distributed by A&E Television Networks.

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Standing Bear's Footsteps: A Native American Chief Who Fought Equal Rights

In 1877, the Ponca people were exiled from their Nebraska homeland to Indian Territory in present-day Oklahoma. To honor his dying son's last wish to be buried in his homeland, Chief Standing Bear set off on a grueling, six-hundred-mile journey home.

Captured en-route, Standing Bear sued a famous U.S. army general for his freedom--choosing to fight injustice not with weapons, but with words. The Chief stood before the court to prove that an Indian was a person under the law. The story quickly made newspaper headlines--attracting powerful allies, as well as enemies.

Winner of a Heartland Regional Emmy Award.

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Fighting Over Sioux

FIGHTING OVER SIOUX is a feature-length documentary told through one-on-one interviews with tribal leaders, students, alumni, bloggers, reporters, politicians, and super fans. When the NCAA bans a small hockey town’s Native American name and logo, a battle begins to save a college icon. 

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Return: Native American Women Reclaim Foodways for Health & Spirit

RETURN features charismatic Roxanne Swentzell from Santa Clara Pueblo in New Mexico whose efforts to reclaim ancient foodways are echoed across the continent by Tlingit, Muckleshoot, Oglala Sioux, Menominee, and Seneca women. At its heart this film is about empowering people to overcome their current circumstances through eating as their ancestors did - nutritiously and locally. RETURN offers an approach to confronting the diabetes epidemic now rampant in Native American communities.

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The Trail of Tears: Cherokee Legacy

"The Trail of Tears Cherokee Legacy", narrated by James Earl Jones and featuring Wes Studi (who speaks his native Cherokee in the film, with English subtitles), explores one of America's darkest periods. After the Louisiana Territory was purchased in 1803, the US Government adopted a policy to move Indians west of the Mississippi to allow for white settlers to take over the eastern lands. President Andrew Jackson's Indian Removal Act of 1830 led to the forced removal of the Cherokee Nation from the Carolinas and Georgia to Oklahoma in 1838-1839. Nearly a quarter of the Cherokee Nation died during the Trail of Tears, arriving in Indian Territory with few elders and even fewer children. This production has won numerous awards including a Telly Silver Award, Aurora Platinum Award, Silver World medal New York Festivals, and Best Documentary at the 2006 American Indian Film Festival.

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