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Join Levi Rickert, publisher of Native News Online on Native Bidaské as he interviews Jeffrey Palmer (Kiowa) on his feature film, "N. Scott Momaday: Words from a Bear." 

On Monday, January 29, 2024, we learned of the passing of N. Scott Momaday (Kiowa) at the age of 89. Momaday is credited for being the founding member of  “Native American Renaissance.” Momaday won a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1969 for his novel “House of Dawn.”

In honor of Mr. Momaday’s passing, we interviewed filmmaker Jeffrey Palmer, a good creator of the feature film for this week’s Native Bidaské.

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About "N. Scott Momaday: Words from a Bear"

N. Scott Momaday (Kiowa/Cherokee), one of the most prolific contemporary Native American writers, has passed away at his home in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The documentary "N. Scott Momaday: Words from a Bear" explores the life and mind of Navarro Scott Momaday, a Kiowa novelist, short-story writer, essayist, and poet who won the National Medal of Arts. Momaday's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel "House Made of Dawn" marked a breakthrough for Native American literature. The film uses original animation, historical photos, and interviews with prominent figures, including indigenous authors, actors like Robert Redford and Jeff Bridges, and Joy Harjo, the first Native American U.S. Poet Laureate, to delve into Momaday's creative core. Directed by Jeffrey Palmer, a member of the Kiowa Tribe, the documentary provides a personal exploration of Native American life in the 21st century, reflecting on Momaday's influence as a founding figure of the Native American Renaissance in art and literature. 

Momaday's work, while rooted in his heritage, also raises universal questions about origins and collective memories, offering insights into the challenges faced by Native American artists in the 20th and 21st centuries. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2019.

About Jeffery Palmer

Jeffrey Palmer, an award-winning filmmaker and proud member of the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma. Renowned for his groundbreaking debut feature, "N. Scott Momaday: Words from a Bear," Palmer invites us on a mesmerizing journey into the lives of Indigenous people in twenty-first-century America. Premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and nationally aired on PBS's American Masters, the film earned an Emmy nomination in 2020, securing its place as an Outstanding Documentary or Non-Fiction Series. 

Palmer's storytelling finesse is underscored by his environmental advocacy, as evident in the Ted Turner Award-winning film. From the prestigious Bill and Melinda Gates Short Film Challenge to screenings at global venues, Palmer's cinematic brilliance has earned accolades and grants from institutions like the Sundance Institute and Ford Foundation. A member of elite industry organizations, Palmer, an associate professor at Cornell University, is currently weaving his magic on his second feature film, "Ghosts," promising another chapter in his impactful cinematic legacy.

Don't miss this insightful and engaging edition of Native Bidaské LIVE this Friday, February 2, 2024, at 12 p.m. Noon Eastern Time. Watch this episode on Native News Online's Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube channel.

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