"Our Spirits Don't Speak English - Indian Boarding School" is a documentary film that examines the educational system that was designed to destroy Indian culture and tribal unity." Introduced by August Schellenberg, the film provides a candid look at the Indian Boarding School system starting in 1879 through the 1960s combining personal interviews with historical background. The film combines a number of powerful personal interviews, including Andrew Windy Boy, along with historical narration to reflect the harrowing, and often untold, experiences of so many. Grace Thorpe, daughter of Jim Thorpe, the famous Sauk, and Fox athlete, closes the film with her last public interview.
A GOOD DAY TO DIE chronicles a movement that started a revolution and inspired a nation. By recounting the life story of Dennis Banks, the Native American who co-founded the American Indian Movement (AIM) in 1968 to advocate and protect the rights of American Indians, the film provides an in-depth look at the history and issues surrounding AIM's formation. From the forced assimilation of Native Americans within boarding schools to discrimination by law enforcement authorities, to neglect by government officials responsible for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, AIM sought redress for the many grievances that its people harbored. Bittersweet and compelling, A GOOD DAY TO DIE charts the rise and fall of a movement that fought for the civil rights of American Indians.
"Don't Get Sick After June; American Indian Healthcare" is presented by Peter Coyote with narrative quotes by August Schellenberg. Declared wards of the state, Native Americans were promised housing, education, and healthcare in numerous treaties with the US Government. Due to chronic underfunding, American Indian health care facilities predictably run out of funds by June every year. This documentary film highlights the tragic impact of failed promises of healthcare services from its inception under the Department of War up to the present.
"The Trail of Tears Cherokee Legacy", narrated by James Earl Jones and featuring Wes Studi (who speaks his native Cherokee in the film, with English subtitles), explores one of America's darkest periods. After the Louisiana Territory was purchased in 1803, the US Government adopted a policy to move Indians west of the Mississippi to allow for white settlers to take over the eastern lands. President Andrew Jackson's Indian Removal Act of 1830 led to the forced removal of the Cherokee Nation from the Carolinas and Georgia to Oklahoma in 1838-1839. Nearly a quarter of the Cherokee Nation died during the Trail of Tears, arriving in Indian Territory with few elders and even fewer children. This production has won numerous awards including a Telly Silver Award, Aurora Platinum Award, Silver World medal New York Festivals, and Best Documentary at the 2006 American Indian Film Festival.