no. 12: Indigenous voices on screen and on the page

no. 12: Indigenous voices on screen and on the page

You didn’t miss last week’s issue—it was never released. I was sick and/or out-of-town for the past two weeks and am still recovering/catching-up. That said, Screen Break writer Kati wrote something really wonderful for last week’s issue and I want to share it with you today. At the end of this newsletter, I've shared some of my favorite writing on Indigenous film and by Indigenous writers.

The issue scheduled for today (From Mean Girl to Christmas Queen) will be released next week!

Screen Break

by Kati Bowden

The Sea-Ringed World is perhaps the finest collection of American mythology and folklore that I have seen in recent years. From the tip of Argentina to the highest reaches of Alaska, the stories collected here explore humanity's place in the universe, the world's origin, and the mortal's relationship with the divine, as all mythologies do. What happens to the soul when the body dies? How did people come to inhabit the lands we now call home? Who were the original gods and humans? Across the continents, every nation, tribe, and culture has answered these questions in their own way. Here, we witness a celebration of those stories and beliefs with love, respect, and sacred reverence. Author María García Esperón  has tenderly collected the foundations of countless cultures in this beautiful tome, illustrated by Amanda Mijangos and translated by David Bowles. Subtitled "Sacred Stories of the Americas," The Sea-Ringed World should be given place of pride on the list of 2021 Indigenous books.

This week in particular, I would like to direct attention towards Indigenous organizations and causes. As a children's librarian (assistant), I want to make sure that I am representing many cultures and peoples in my book recommendations, while also making sure that the representation is also high quality. The AICL (American Indians in Children's Literature) group provides analysis of American Indian representation in books for young readers, evaluating them across multiple sets of criteria for accuracy. I aim to use this tool as often as possible so that I can make the best recommendations and collection purchases.

The COVID-19 pandemic has ravaged Indigenous communities across North America, and they need help to respond to and recover from the virus. First Nations has compiled an account of aid partners and what they provide to which Nations, and has compiled a list of foundations and groups that are accepting donations and support.

The National Indigenous Women's Resource Center fights for the end of violence against Native women and to reclaim sovereignty of tribal communities so that perpetrators of this violence can be held accountable. Donations to NIWRC go towards policy development, education, and training, all of which are based on traditional beliefs and work towards the mission of saving the lives of Native women. Donations and gifts to the NIWRC can be made here.

NARF, the Native American Rights Fund, is one of the oldest legal resources protecting American Indians through the defense of Native law and rights. NARF has aided many tribes and nations in establishing sovereignty, and protected voting, religious, and hunting rights of these indigenous peoples. An imperative group when it comes to Native consideration in American policy making, NARF has proven itself invaluable and necessary since its foundation in the 1970s. Donations to the Fund can be made here.

I've included a range of writing and resources on film, as well as a link to writer, Métis storyteller, and friend Chris La Tray's newsletter, which I look forward to reading every week!

Just a Re-Branding, an issue of Chris La Tray's substack, which you should subscribe to!

Check out the American Indian Film Institute

Through the Native Lens, a column by Shea Vassar

"The time of the Indigenous critic has arrived" by Jason Asenap

"Taika Waititi on creating authentic Indigenous stories" from TIFF Originals

"Native American Heritage Month: Spotlight on Native Filmmakers" by Isadora Lambert

"Indigenous Filmmaking: A Short History" by Liz McNiven

"How Indigenous Filmmakers Are Shaping the Future of Cinema" by Julian Brave NoiseCat