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HALEIWA, Hawaii — Societies have been shaped through their legends and myths, which reflect worldviews, define human relations and teach life-long lessons. As a result of colonization, many Indigenous stories from all over the world were suppressed and consequently lost to history. But some traditional storytellers are utilizing contemporary techniques, such as filmmaking, to help secure these oral histories and ensure the survival of their messages. 

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Native people in cinema have been categorized into stereotypical and inconsequential roles, which has created a gap in Native-centric films that allow for any worthwhile character development. Some Native filmmakers are working to break away from historical settings and cultivate more fleshed out storylines for contemporary Native protagonists. For Sundance Institute alum, writer and director Lyle Mitchell Corbine Jr. (Shinaab), it was a necessity to show audiences the inner workings of Native minds, even the more questionable characters. 

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The largest powwow in North America and the United States will take place virtually again in 2021 due Covid-10 restrictions. 

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Effects of the COVID pandemic have forced various industries to reassess how to run its operations and experiment with hosting virtual events, especially for the Sundance Film Festival (SFF). Part of the nonprofit Sundance Institute, the Festival is known for showcasing independent films and connecting filmmakers to other industry members, audiences and the press. This year Sundance took great strides to bring its entire film selection and festival experience to audiences’ homes as opposed to its typical location in Park City, Utah.

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At an early age, Native Hawaiian filmmaker Ciara Lacy fell in love with storytelling. Lacy recalled her father going to a garage sale and buying her a typewriter for her fifth birthday. She was so excited to use her gift whenever she could that she even typed her homework assignments. A young Lacy would assemble sandwiches and hurry off to her room to create her own stories too. 

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The United States Artists (USA) fellowship announced winners last week, which included six Indigenous artists from across the country. 

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The first-ever International Indigenous Hip Hop Awards Show has its list of nominees.

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When 19-year-old Bella Aiukli Cornell (Choctaw Nation) began sewing about four years ago, she couldn’t have anticipated that one of her traditional ribbon skirts would be broadcast on televisions across the world from the Presidential Inauguration.

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The American Library Association (ALA) awarded the 2021 Caldecott Medal to Michaela Goade this week for her illustrations in “We Are the Water Protectors,” a picture book written by Carole Lindstrom (Turtle Mountain Band of Ojibwe).

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LOS ANGELES — On Monday, the Native American Media Alliance (NAMA), a Native American advocacy organization, announced that they are accepting applications for the 6th Annual Native American TV Writers Lab. Part of LA Skins Fest, this writing intensive program comes in partnership with Sony Pictures Entertainment, A+E Networks and Kung Fu Monkey Productions.