The Idaho Mythweaver, and the East Bonner County Library District are continuing their partnership for another year of showing free Native American films to the public as part of the Native Heritage Film Series.
This five-month long series will begin on Saturday, November 12, with the hour-long documentary—For The Rights of All: Ending Jim Crow in Alaska.
Two screenings will take place that day at 12:30pm and 3:00pm in the Rude Girls Room of the Library’s Sandpoint Branch, 1407 Cedar Street in Sandpoint. This social justice themed film is being shown to recognize that November is American Indian / Alaska Native Heritage Month. Following each screening, Jane Fritz of The Idaho Mythweaver will lead the audience in a discussion of the film’s provocative subject. Light refreshments will be served.
In 1867, when the United States purchased the Alaska territory, the promise of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights didn’t apply to Alaska Natives. The Tlingit and Haida peoples of southeast Alaska were designated by the U.S. government as “uncivilized” and prevented from enjoying basic civil rights. They were not considered to be citizens unless they denounced their tribal affiliation. Even with the eventual assimilation into the mainstream culture, discrimination and racism continued to be rampant. For The Rights of All: Ending Jim Crow in Alaska, chronicles the Alaska Natives struggle to win justice in one of the great untold chapters of the American civil rights movement, culminating at the violent peak of World War II with the passage of one of the nation’s first equal rights laws passed in 1945.
The Native Heritage Film Series will continue on December 10 with What Was Ours, which follows a Shoshone elder, a powwow princess, and an Arapaho journalist from the Wind River Indian Reservation as they together seek lost sacred objects, collected from their ancestors long ago and boxed away in vast underground archives.
Additional films will be shown the second Saturday of each month through March 2017. All films are provided by Vision Maker Media, a 40-year-old nonprofit Native media organization that empowers and engages Native peoples to tell their stories in the spirit of healing, understanding and public discourse. After each monthly screening, a DVD copy of the film will be released into the Library’s circulation for public check-out.
This film series has been generously underwritten by TransEco Services along with major grants from the Idaho Humanities Council—a state-based organization of the National Endowment for the Humanities—and the Bonner County Endowment Fund for Human Rights of the Idaho Community Foundation.
The Idaho Mythweaver is a nonprofit educational organization whose mission since 1989 has been to help support the authentic presentation and preservation of cultural traditions of tribal peoples within the context of their relationship to Mother Earth. Its cross-cultural work has promoted Native arts and humanities through educational programs for youth and adults, media productions and social events that best serve the interest of the general public. Contact them at mythweaver.org and on Facebook at facebook.com/idahomythweaver.