Over one hundred students, families, community members and SPS faculty attended the 2nd Annual Native Youth Film Fest 2011. This event was hosted at Nathan Hale High School, and was sponsored by Urban AI/AN Education Alliance in partnership with Long House Media and Nathan Hale High School Native Club.
The UAI/ANEA initiated this special event to support local and regional films written, directed and produced by Native people. These documentaries illustrate our stories and define our identities, culture, and traditions through our perspective and our voice. Native Lens provided a collection of short stories and documentaries.
Featured films included “Still”, “Clear Sky Basketball Camp”, and “Run to the East”. These films underscored the challenges and strengths experienced by Native youth, shared themes such as: impoverished communities, disenfranchisement, lack of opportunities, negative stereotypes, and also incredible talents, skills, vision, desire, intelligence, culture, traditions, spirituality and family.
Guest speakers included: Glen Pinkham, Dallas Pinkham, Angelo Baca, Sarah Sense-Wilson, and Christopher Francisco.
Angelo Baca (Navajo/ Hopi) provided a thorough explanation of Wings of America program, and Christopher Francisco shared about the longest walk journey which brings awareness to diabetes prevention.
Glen Pinkham received numerous questions and comments on his documentary on traditional hunting. Mr. Pinkham vehemently expressed “We need to tell our truth, our truth from our voice.” We empower our communities and debunk mainstream media’s stereotypes of Native people when we narrate, produce and direct stories.
UAI/ANEA is deeply committed to creating opportunities for our Native students and community. These rich learning experiences support filling the educational void many experience in our classrooms, in addition these educational opportunities build and enhance our visibility and amplify our Native voice. “It is our responsibility as Native community members to open doors for our youth through cultural/traditional and educational learning opportunities” Sarah Sense-Wilson, Chair, UAI/ANEA. Our Native gatherings allow us time to share, connect and develop relationships with one another. Our pan- American Indian value system depends on relationships as we are all interconnected.