Four Native Films Exploring the Relationship Between Man and Nature

Posted By Toyacoyah Brown March 30th, 2017 Last Updated on: March 30th, 2017

Vision Maker Media continues its 40th-anniversary celebration of 40 films available for free streaming through Aug. 7, 2017.

Since Earth Day is celebrated in April, it makes sense that this month's films would focus on Mother Nature and our relationship with her.

April 4 ……………….. The Creek Runs Red
April 11 ……………… In the Light of Reverence
April 18 ……………… Standing Silent Nation
April 25 ……………… The Great American Footrace

The Creek Runs Red explores the human response to an environmental disaster and the complex connection between people and place. The EPA calls the mining town of Picher, Oklahoma the most toxic place in America, but the Quapaw tribe still calls it home.

Today the town is divided by fears of serious health risks, environmental politics, civic pride, and old racial tensions between the Quapaw people and the non-Indian community that share the town.

Producers: Julianna Brannum (Comanche), Bradley Beesley and James Payne

This film explores American culture's relationship to nature in three places considered sacred by native peoples: the Colorado Plateau in the Southwest, Mount Shasta in California, and Devils Tower in Wyoming. Rich in minerals and timber and beloved by recreational users, these “holy lands” exert a spiritual gravity which pulls Native Americans into conflicts with mining companies, New Age practitioners, and rock climbers. Ironically, all sides see themselves as besieged. Their battles tell a new story of culture clashes in an ancient landscape.
Producers: Christopher McLeod

What does a family have to endure to create a future for itself? In April 2000, Alex White Plume and his Lakota family planted industrial hemp on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota after other crops had failed. They put their hopes for a sustainable economy in hemp's hardiness and a booming worldwide demand for its many products, from clothing to food. Although growing hemp, a relative of marijuana, was banned in the U.S., Alex believed that tribal sovereignty, along with hemp's non-psychoactive properties, would protect him. When federal agents raided the White Plumes' fields, the Lakota Nation was swept into a Byzantine struggle over tribal sovereignty, economic rights and common sense.
Producers: Courtney Hermann

Facing scorching temperatures, 19-year-old Andy Payne, a small-town Cherokee boy, takes home the gold after winning a grueling 3,422-mile foot race designed to bring attention to the newly constructed Route 66 Highway. The race recounted in this Emmy-nominated film became one of the wildest promotion schemes in history, allowing Andy to win enough money to marry his girl and keep the family farm.
Producers: Dan Bigbee (Comanche) and Lilly Shangreaux (Oglala Lakota)

In celebration of Vision Maker Media's 40th anniversary, a collection of 40 films will be available for free streaming through Aug. 7, 2017. Each week a different film will be available on visionmakermedia.org and americanarchive.org.

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About Toyacoyah Brown

Toyacoyah Brown is an enrolled member of the Comanche Nation, currently living in Chicago. She received her B.A. in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and an M.A. in Media Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. When she's not scouring the Internet for fun things to share with PowWows.com readers you can find her digging for vinyl in her local record store or curling up with a good book.

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