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Last year, One Nation Walking Together, a Springs-based nonprofit dedicated to making a positive impact in the lives of regional Native Americans, rolled out the One Nation Film Festival. Through Native American film, both documentary and narrative, the organization reached out to the indigenous people they support and the wider community to promote education around a variety of issues, from the disappearance and revival of the Lakota language, to the specific struggles faced by Native American youth.
Today marks the second One Nation Film Festival, a full day of films, entertainment and presentations that further One Nation Walking Together's mission of education and outreach.
With three documentary feature films, Little Wound's Warriors, Mele Murals and The Good Mind — plus six short films of all genres — this year's festival highlights Hawaiian graffiti artists Estria and Prime, shines light on the intergenerational trauma that has affected teen suicide rates in one native community, and explores the environmental concerns of oil and gas exploration, along with much more.
Attendees should look forward to the day's panel discussion about as much as the films, as locals Jan Johnson, Dave Sherman, Laura BenAmots, Diana Crow-wheel and Kathy Turzi will discuss their experiences at Standing Rock and the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Thanks to the massive participation in the Standing Rock protests, non-indigenous people have begun paying more attention to Native issues, but so many aspects of Native American cultures still go unrepresented. There's infinite variety within the arts, beliefs, daily lives and history of our country's 566 federally recognized Indian tribes and communities, and it's quite a treat to be able to get a small glimpse into it all through these films.
Moreover, all proceeds from the festival go right back to One Nation Walking Together, which provides much-needed food and donated goods to 11 reservations in seven states. That's 30,000 to 40,000 people. With its food sustainability program and educational outreach in schools, this organization is doing tangible, long-term work for groups of people who have been largely neglected by the federal government and the states.
Today's films promise to inspire, intrigue and educate, while supporting an excellent local and regional cause. Not a bad way to spend a Sunday.
9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Stargazers Theatre, 10 S. Parkside Drive, $20-$25, onenationfilmfestival.org.