Events at the BCT
- Native American Film Series 5
Sunday April 25 02:00 PM
Native American Community Center of Bloomington -
After the civil war, the U.S. government began forcibly removing American Indian children from their homes and sending them to boarding schools. The goal of these schools was to assimilate children into white society—stripping them of their tribal national identities and re-creating them as potential menial laborers. Boarding schools were sometimes run by the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs. Sometimes, however, they were contracted out to religious organizations. Children were punished for practicing their traditional languages, religious beliefs, and cultural values. American Indian children were denied freedom of religion. Sometimes they were abused. Parents were denied freedom to raise their children as they saw fit. Similar programs in Canada and Australia sought to sever Indigenous children from their cultures and indigenous nations.
In 1975, recognizing the damage these schools had done to Native peoples, Congress passed the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act. This act empowered tribal governments to run their own schools. However, great cultural and personal injuries remain.
Today, Native American filmmakers have explored the Native American boarding school experience. This year, the Native Film Series honors the stories of boarding school victims by presenting a series of films, both documentaries and fictional works . This year’s theme is Cultural Survival: Beyond Boarding Schools. Special guest Georgina Lightning, director of Older than America, a thriller, will present her film and give a talk on how the boarding school experience resonates through modern Native America.
The Native Film Series, entering its fifth year, celebrates contemporary filmmaking by Native American directors and actors. Contemporary Native filmmaking empowers Native Americans to tell our own stories and show audiences that our cultures survive, as they always will. The Native Film Series runs from 2 PM – midnight. Ms. Lightning will present her film at 4:45 P.M., with a talk to follow.
Native American Community Center of Bloomington
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