American Indian History and Culture Viewing and Discussion Programs
The following list of films may be used in programs to support use of Picturing America posters 1A, 1B, 5B, 6B, and 8B:
Black Indians: An American Story. (2000) 60 min. Rich-Heape Films, Inc. DVD: $149.95 (includes PPR).
Examines a forgotten part of America’s past—the cultural and racial fusion of Native and African Americans. Available from Rich-Heape Films, Inc.
Coming to Light: Edward S. Curtis and the North American Indians. (2000) 56 min. Bullfrog Films. DVD: $295 (includes PPR).
Anne Makepeace’s moving biography of Edward S. Curtis, the pioneer photographer of American Indians, also visits descendants of Curtis’s subjects who today use his images to revive the past. Educational resources. Available from Bullfrog Films.
The Exiles. (1961) 72 min. Milestone Films. DVD: $195 (includes PPR).
This beautifully restored, haunting independent feature chronicles one night in the lives of young Native Americans living in urban Los Angeles. Scripted based on interviews with the participants and their friends, the film follows a group of “exilesv” as they flirt, drink, party, fight, and dance. Available from Milestone Films.
Homeland: Four Portraits of Native Action. (2005) 88 min. Bullfrog Films. DVD: $295 (includes PPR).
Tells the story of several Native American tribes and their struggles against environmental racism as they fight to protect and care for their ancestral lands. Study guide. Available from Bullfrog Films.
Miss Navajo. (2007) 53 min. Independent. DVD: $295 (includes PPR).
A fascinating journey through the Miss Navajo pageant as contestants prepare for a competition that includes anything from speaking the native language to butchering sheep. Resources. Available from The Cinema Guild.
Native American Teens: Who We Are. (2006) 60 min. Castle Works, Inc. DVD: $69.95 (includes PPR).
Highlights a variety of activities, from concerts to sports to filmmaking, explored by Native American teens as they examine how their cultural identity can enrich the modern world. Available from Transit Media.
Our Spirits Don’t Speak English. (2008) 60 min. Rich-Heape Films, Inc. DVD: $149.95 (includes PPR).
A striking chronicle of the emotional, physical, spiritual, and psychological abuse inflicted on Native American communities via the compulsory Indian boarding school system. Available from Rich-Heape Films, Inc.
The Prize of the Pole. (2006) 78 min. Icarus Films. DVD: $440 (includes PPR).
The great-grandson of Arctic explorer Robert E. Peary investigates both the mystery of his own heritage and the story of Minik, one of seven Eskimos Peary brought to New York in 1909. Explores complex and controversial issues of cultural identity and appropriation. Available from Icarus Films.
Teachings of the Tree People: The Work of Bruce Miller. (2005) 58 min. New Day Films. DVD: $125 (includes PPR).
Both an affectionate tribute to a worldly Native American leader and an intriguing documentation of the wealth of knowledge one man chose to share over the course of his life. Curriculum guide. Available from New Day Films.
We Shall Remain. (2009) 394 min (5 episodes). PBS. DVD: $79.95 (includes PPR).
These five documentaries span almost four hundred years, telling the story of pivotal moments in U.S. history from the Native American perspective via meticulously researched reenactments. Teachers guide. Available from PBS Educational Media.