Published October 23, 2016
LINCOLN, NEBRASKA – Just in time for Native American Heritage Month in November, Vision Maker Media presents five new films that celebrate the accomplishments of Native peoples in the areas of medicine, math and energy empowerment. The films provide historical context as well as modern insight on key issues affecting Native Americans. Two of the films shed light on the treatment of Native remains and how climate change is affecting Native residents on a fragile barrier island in the Arctic.
ISHI’S RETURN is about Ishi, billed in 1911 as the “last wild Indian” when he wandered out of the woods in Oroville, California, and became a national sensation. When Ishi died, his brain was removed and sent to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. Eighty years later, his descendants in California fought to have his remains repatriated to his ancestral home. (Distributed by NETA)
Ishi’s Return Producer: Katahdin Productions
MEDICINE WOMAN introduces the first Native American doctor and the courageous women who follow in her footsteps. Susan La Flesche Picotte was America’s first Native doctor, breaking barriers of race and gender to heal her traumatized people. A century later, Native women from many tribes follow in her footsteps. What have they learned about new ways of healing that can help us all? (Distributed by PBS Plus) Medicine Woman Producer: NET Television
Can energy development on tribal lands empower a people while powering the nation? And what impact will it have on their culture, economy and the environment?
RED POWER ENERGY combines engaging storytelling with in-depth journalism, and features a nearly all-Native film crew and Advisory Council representing Western and Great Plains American Indian tribes in North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming and Colorado. (Distributed by APT) Red Power Energy Producer: Rocky Mountain PBS
NAVAJO MATH CIRCLES follows Navajo students in a lively collaboration with mathematicians. Using a model called math circles, the students stay late after school and assemble over the summer at Diné College in Tsaile, Arizona, to study mathematics. The math circles approach emphasizes student-centered learning by putting children in charge of exploring mathematics to their own joy and satisfaction. (Distributed by PBS Plus) Navajo Math Circles Producer: Zala Films, George Csicsery
The tiny town of KIVALINA
lies on a fragile barrier island along the Chukchi Sea, 83 miles above the Arctic Circle. With changes in climate, less ice remains to protect the island from strong ocean waves, making it too dangerous for residents to remain. Now, the town, the state of Alaska, and the nation must consider whether to
move the people of Kivalina to a safer location nearby, either inland or further down the coast, at a cost of $100 million. This film provides an intimate and unique look into the public and private lives of one of America’s last Indigenous cultures trying to survive in the modern Arctic, where struggles of poverty, climate change and culture are inextricably intertwined. Kivalina Producer: Savor Terra Films