Native American Heritage Month

Native American Heritage Month: Where the Spirit Lives

Bruce Pittman · 1990
96min · digital
Playing Nov 20

Saturday, Nov 20: 4:00 pm

Only $5! Johnny Arnoux, a member of the Blackfoot confederacy from the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in Montana, suggested we show this film for Native American Heritage Month. He will introduce the screening.

Where The Spirit Lives is the uplifting story of Komi, a courageous young Blackfoot girl. Taken from her home on a remote Reserve by the Canadian Government to an English-speaking residential school, she is forced into a school uniform, re-named Amelia and forced to learn and speak only English. After being subjected to bullying, abuse, and lies she mounts a daring escape. Shot on location in the scenic Canadian Rockies, Where the Spirit Lives is a moving tribute to a young girl’s courage and indomitable spirit. The film was produced for television and screened at numerous film festivals, winning several "Canadian Emmys" for its direction, writing, and acting. Oscar-winning Indigenous musician Buffy Sainte-Marie wrote and performed the score.

Throughout the 17th-20th centuries, indigenous children in Canada and the United States were separated from their families and taken to Christian-run government schools with the purpose of eradicating Native culture. In 2021, researchers found nearly 1000 unmarked graves on the sites of former schools in Canada. The trauma caused by these schools has never been truly reckoned with by the U.S. or Canadian governments.

What can you do for Native American Heritage Month?

Native American Heritage Month: Wind River

Taylor Sheridan · 2017
107min · digital
Playing Nov 27

Saturday, Nov 27: 4:00 pm

Only $5! Chelsea Hendrickson, a member of the Northern Arapaho Nation from the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming, will introduce this screening. This film is being shown for Native American Heritage Month at the suggestion of Johnny Arnoux, a member of the Blackfoot confederacy from the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in Montana.

U.S. Fish & Wildlife agent Cory Lambert discovers the body of a Native American teenager in the rugged wilderness of the Wind River Indian Reservation. Sent to investigate the murder, a rookie FBI is unprepared for the oppressive weather and isolation of the Wyoming winter. When she employs Cory as a tracker, the two venture deep into a world ravaged by violence and the elements.

Director Taylor Sheridan wrote Wind River to raise awareness of the human-rights crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women (MMIW). In the U.S. and Canada, thousands of cases of missing Indigenous women have been ignored due to police bias and other forms of systemic racism. The film also points out how the extraction of natural resources by private companies on Indian land is also to blame for the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women.

What can you do for Native American Heritage Month?