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Native Eyes Film Showcase 2015

Native Eyes is produced collaboratively by Arizona State Museum with Tohono O'odham Nation Cultural Center and Museum, Pascua Yaqui Intel Computer Clubhouse, Indigenous Strategies, and University of Arizona's American Indian Studies department.

September 26, 7:00 p.m., Loft Cinema, 3233 E Speedway Blvd, Tucson

Empire of Dirt movie poster

Native Eyes at Loft Film Fest

Empire of Dirt (2013, 99 minutes, Director: Jennifer Podemski)

In Person: Cara Gee (Ojibwa), actress

"Empire of Dirt tells a traditional mothers-and-daughters story in a new way by making their Cree heritage and the role it has in their lives and relationships the true heart of the drama." (The Toronto Star)

TrailerOpens in a new window for Empire of Dirt

Admission: $10 per person or $8 for Loft, ASM and tribal community members.

Related Workshop: Acting, Directing & Scene Work with Cara Gee
Saturday afternoon at Arizona History Museum, 949 E. 2nd Street, Tucson
For middle and high school, community college, and university students
Free, Pre-Registration Required

October 8, 7:00 p.m., and October 9, 8:00 p.m., Temple of Music and Art, Cabaret Theater, 260 S. Scott Ave, Tucson


Native Eyes at the Tucson Festival of Films

Maïna (Canada, 2014, 100 minutes, in Inuktitut with English subtitles)

In Person: Michel Poulette, director

Follow the journey of young Maïna, an Innu (people of the great waters). The aftermath of a bloody confrontation between the Innu and the Inuit (men from the land of ice), leaves Maïna’s best friend dead. Maïna dives into more danger, as she promises to retrieve his son who was stolen by the Inuit. A compelling story of culture clashes, loss, love and understanding, this stunning film introduces us to two complex civilizations that founded America. For the first time in Canadian film history, two ingenious communities, Innu First Nation from Mingan, Quebec and the Kuujjuaq Inuit people financed this film as they saw it as a way to help preserve their language and culture, and present their history in a respectful way. TrailerOpens in a new window for Maïna.

Admission: $8 at the door or pre-purchase your tickets for Thursday, October 8Opens in a new window or Friday, October 9Opens in a new window

October 10, 6:00 p.m.,Temple of Music and Art, Cabaret Theater, 260 S. Scott Ave, Tucson

The Shorts-Narrative program includes two Native Eyes short films:

Bloodlines (USA, 2013, 11 min, Director: Christopher Nataanii Cegielski (Navajo))
When a wolf eats a calf on their ranch, young Dustin and his brother hope that by killing the wolf they will win the praise of their stern father, but when Dustin has the wolf in his gun's sight, everything changes.

Ronnie BoDean (USA, 2015, 12 min, Director: Steven Paul Judd (Kiowa / Choctaw))
Ronnie BoDean (Wes Studi), a larger-than-life outlaw, must shake off an epic hangover and use his considerable street knowledge to take on his greatest challenge yet - babysitting his jailed neighbor's precocious kids. When Ronnie's out-of-the-frying-pan-and-into-the-fire approach to child rearing lands the kids in the cross hairs of a psychotic thug, it's up to Ronnie to save the day.

For more information about the shorts included in this program and to pre-purchase tickets visit Tucson Festival of FilmsOpens in a new window.

October 13, 2:00 p.m., University of Arizona College of Medicine, Room 2117 (at Drachman & Cherry), Tucson

Dr. Carlos Montezuma

Native Eyes at the Native Voices in the Southwest Conference

Carlos Montezuma: Changing Is Not Vanishing (USA, 2014, 28 minutes, Directors Alison Davis Wood and Tim Hartin)

In Person: Bernadine Burnette (Yavapai), descendent of Dr. Montezuma

Born in 1866 in the Arizona Territory, Carlos Montezuma (Wassaja) was stolen from his Yavapai family as a young boy and sold as a slave. He spent his early childhood on the road with an Italian photographer, and performed with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. In 1889, he became one of the first Native Americans to earn a medical degree. Working as a Bureau of Indian Affairs reservation doctor, he witnessed widespread poverty and bureaucratic corruption, which steeled him to fight for Native American rights and citizenship. In 1906, when the Yavapai faced removal from their reservation, Montezuma went to Washington, to fight for and finally secure their land and water rights.

Offered on conjunction with Native Voices exhibit and related free conference.Opens in a new window

This program offered in collaboration with the University of Arizona's Arizona Health Science Library.

October 22, 4:45 p.m., The Loft Cinema, 3233 E Speedway Blvd, Tucson

Native Eyes at Loft Film Fest

Daughter of Dawn (USA, 1920, restored 2012, 80 minutes, Director: Norbert A. Myles)

In Person: Wilson C. Daingkau (Kiowa / Caddo / Pawnee), descendent of actors

This silent film, previously thought to be lost, may be the only film of the silent era with an all Native American cast. The lead actor is White Parker, the son of the great Comanche leader Quanah Parker. The story, played by an all-Indian cast of 300 Kiowas and Comanches, includes a four-way love story, buffalo hunt scenes, battle scenes, dances, deceit, courage, and ultimately a happy ending. The Indians, who had been on the reservation less than fifty years, brought with them their own tipis, horses, clothing, and material culture. The film is included in the National Film Registry at Library of Congress.

Background informationOpens in a new window about Daughter of Dawn.

Offered on conjunction with Native Voices exhibit and free conference.Opens in a new window

Admission: $10, $8 for Loft / ASM / tribal community members.

This program offered in collaboration with the Loft Film Fest.

November 8, 12:30–5:15 p.m. The Loft Cinema, 3233 E Speedway Blvd, Tucson

Water is Life: Three films, Q&A with filmmakers, panel discussion, resource fair

12:30 pm  Resource Fair. On The Loft’s patio.
Meet and speak with organizations and UA Departments working with the environment, water and Native American culture.

Monique Verdin in My Louisiana Love

1:00–3:00 p.m. My Louisiana Love (USA, 2013, 66 minutes)
The film explores the complex and uneven relationship between the oil industry and the indigenous community of the Mississippi Delta. Monique Verdin returns to Southeast Louisiana to reunite with her Houma Indian family and discovers that her people’s traditional way of life—fishing, trapping, and hunting these fragile wetlands—is threatened by a cycle of man-made environmental crises. As Louisiana is devastated by Hurricane Katrina and Rita and then the BP oil leak, Monique finds herself turning to environmental activism. She documents her family’s struggle to stay close to the land despite the cycle of disasters and the rapidly disappearing coastline. This intimate film shares Monique’s journey: she must overcome the loss of her house, her father, and her partner, and redefine the meaning of home. Her story is both unique and frighteningly familiar.

Q&A with Monique Verdin

TrailerOpens in a new window for My Louisiana Love

3:00–3:30 p.m. Resource Fair. On The Loft’s patio.

Chasing Water

3:30–5:15 p.m. 2 Films:
Chasing Water (USA, 2011, 19 minutes).
Photojournalist Peter McBride sets out to document the flow of the Colorado RiverOpens in a new window from source to sea. Hailing from a ranching family that depends on the Colorado for irrigation, this is the story of McBride’s backyard. His simple desire is to find out where the irrigation water of his youth went after his family used it, and how long it took the water to reach the ocean. His experience, however, is not so straightforward, analogous, perhaps, to tracking down a special friend from childhood—one who was always full of vitality—only to find her utterly changed and diminished. This 1,500-mile journey shows how the thirst of 30 million water users takes an unhealthy toll on the grand Colorado River.

Mover un Rio

Mover un Río (Mexico, 2015, Spanish with subtitles, 67 minutes, Director: Alba Herrera Rivas)
This film explores the current environmental damage to the Rio Yaqui, the largest river in the state of Sonora, and the devastating effects a planned aqueduct project that will divert the river’s waters into Hermosillo, will have on the Yaqui Indians. Visually stunning landscapes contrast with images of barren fields and polluted rivers as Olga, Librado, Fernando, and Mario, members of the Yoeme (Yaqui) tribe, reflect on the importance of the river for the survival of their people. The escalating struggle for cultural sovereignty, land and water rights is at the center of this compelling documentary by Alba Herrera Rivas.

TrailerOpens in a new window for Mover un Río

Panel discussion with Lourdes Escalante (Yaqui) and Felipe Molina (Yoeme)

Admission: $15 per person or $12 for Loft / ASM / tribal community members and UA students.

DATE CHANGE! December 5, 8:30 a.m.–4:00 p.m. San Xavier District Administration Building and San Xavier Food Co-op

water word cloud

Water is Life Native Youth Summit: History, Art and Action!

A free daylong workshop about the history, cultural importance, and future of water in Native communities.

Elders, tribal leaders and young activists from the several Arizona Indian nations will speak about the complicated history of a shared resource and the life-sustaining power of water for their people. They will address issues related to land and water rights that affect tribal nations today and shape the future. The day culminates with students creating art expressing their understanding of water and activism, building a rainwater garden, and interviewing elders. This event is intended to inspire Native youth to find their own voice and to become involved in shaping a future grounded in traditional values.

For Native middle and high school and college students; Pre-registration required. Please submit application (PDF*) by November 30th.

This program is offered in collaboration with the San Xavier District of the Tohono O'odham Nation and the San Xavier Farm Co-op.

MORE FILMS coming Spring 2016!

Planned for the spring are screenings of Rhymes for Young Ghouls, The Activist, Kuna Hima, among others. Please check back. To be placed on Arizona State Museum's email list to be notified or with questions or to submit a film for review, email us.

All links below open in a new window.

The 2015 Native Eyes Film Showcase is produced by Arizona State Museum in partnership with Indigenous Strategies, Tohono O’odham Nation Cultural Center and Museum, Pascua Yaqui Intel Computer Clubhouse, and University of Arizona’s American Indian Studies department,

and in cooperation with the San Xavier District of the Tohono O’odham Nation, San Xavier Coop Farm, Tucson Festival of Films, The Loft Cinema, and the Wa:k O’odham Foundation,

with support from Tucson Pima Arts Council, Desert Diamond Casinos and Entertainment, Tohono O’odham Utility Authority, and the following entities of the University of Arizona: Agnese Nelms Haury Program in Environment and Social Justice, Native Peoples Technical Assistance Office, Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program,  Southwest Center,  Department of Hydrology and Water Resources, Institute of the Environment, and Water Resources Research Center

Arizona State MuseumIndiginous StrategiesTohono O'odham Nation Cultural Center and MuseumPascua Yaqui Computer ClubhouseUA American Indian StudiesSan Xavier District of the Tohono O'odham NationSan Xavier Coop Farm logoTucson Festival of Film logoLoft CinemaTucson Pima Arts Council logoDesert Diamond Casinos & EntertainmentTphono O'odham Utility Authority logoNative Peoples Technical Assistance Office logoInstitute for the EnvironmentSouthwest CenterDepartment of Hydrology and Water ResourcesInstitute of the EnvironmentWater Resources Research CenterAgnese Nelms Haury Program in Environment and Social Justice

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