Listing of Videos by Title:


Blood Tests: Native American Gamble

Subject: Identity, Casinos
Distributed by: BBC, 1997
Audience: General
Length: 50 min.

Steve Jones investigates what constitutes Native American blood, then follows three individuals as they use DNA matching of a female gene to attempt to confirm a genetic link between themselves and their Pequot ancestors. How Native Americans were disconnected from their heritage is examined by several tribal members, and the point is made that some want to establish their Indian bloodlines to share in the growing profits from casino gabling on reservations. Native American activist Tom Porter stresses the importance of cultural connections, and predicts the imminent extinction of the Mohawk culture.

Bones of Contention: Native American Archaeology

Subject: Archaeology, Repatriation
Distributed By: BBC Productions, 1998
Audience: General
Length: 49 min.
*not currently available

The remains of more than 10,000 Native Americans unearthed at archaeological sites across the U.S. are in the possession of museums such as the Smithsonian. Is the analysis of the bones valid scientific research, or is it a desecration of Native American culture? This program focuses on the tensions between scientists, historians, and museum curators and Native American groups, as the bones take on a central role in a war of alternate perspectives. In examining this debate, the program provides an excellent survey of Native American archaeology in the U.S.

Painting of American Indian

Broken Treaty At Battle Mountain

Subject: Religion & Sacred Places
Distributed By: Cinnamon Productions, Inc., 1974
Audience: General
Length: 60 min.

Broken Treaty at Battle Mountain has found its place as a classic motion picture that set the stage for the Western Shoshone Indians to rally forces for their battle cry "Mother Earth is not for sale!" Called "a powerful documentary which is creating history" by the San Francisco Chronicle, Broken Treaty portrays the Shoshones in their initial organizing efforts as they attempt to stop the government from tearing down thousands of acres of their sacred pinion trees. Broken Treaty offers a fascinating portrait of tradition Native American life and documents dramatic behind-the-scenes confrontations betwen Indians and U.S. government officials. Broken Treaty is the true story, filmed as it happened of a broken treaty and a Native Peoples' resistance in America today. Narrated by Robert Redford.

Broken Treaty II - To Protect Mother Earth

Subject: Treaty Rights
Distributed By: Cinnamon Productions, Inc. 1989
Audience: General
Length: 60 min.

The Dann sisters, Carrie and Mary, are Western Shoshone Indians fighting to keep the government from seizing their ancestral land and conducting nuclear tests there. At stake are 24 million acres and the survival of an ancient people. To Protect Mother Earth, Joel L. Freedman's powerful sequel to the acclaimed Broken Treaty at Battle Mountain, is a gripping account of the continuing battle between Native Americans and the U.S. government.



Casting Light Upon the Waters

Subject: Fishing Rights
Distributed By: DeltaVision Entertainment, 1992.
Audience: General
Length: 30 min.

This video presentation reviews traditional Chippewa spear fishing methods in context with today's multiracial culture and demonstrates the positive effects that have been brought about by the combined efforts of the Joint Assessment Steering Committee members to assure continued protection and enhancement of Wisconsin's fishery, for both tribal and non-tribal anglers alike.



The Dogrib Caribou Skin Lodge

Subject: Cultural and Language Continuance, Repatriation
Distributed By: Lone Woolf Television Production Services, 2001
Audience: General, Anthropology
Length: 28:50 min.

At the beginning of the 20th century, hundreds of caribou-skin lodges were in use by the Dogrib People of northern Canada. In 1997, the only known example was at a museum in Iowa City, IA, where it had been stored for over 100 years. This video documents the return of the lodge and the cultural revitalization that occurred as a result.



An Evening of Storytelling

Subject: Storytelling, Literature
Distributed By: City of Iowa City, Community Television Service
Audience: General, Literature Students
Length: 81 min.

This video is a recording of an April 6th, 2000 Live from Prairie Lights event as part of the 1st Annual CIC Graduate Conference for American Indian Studies. The video features storytelling and poetry readings by Steve Thunder-MacGuire, Simon Ortiz, and others.



How to Trace Your Native American Heritage

Subject: Identity, Heritage
Distributed By: Rich-Heape Films, 1998
Audience: Those wishing to trace their Indian heritage
Length: 31:20 min.

"Discover your Native American Heritage...for you, for your children, and for their children after them. Use this guide to search out the path of your ancestors and establish your roots within the Circle of Life."



The Incas

Subject: South America, Cultural Areas
Distributed By: PBS Home Video, 1995
Audience: Anthropology, General
Length: 60 min.

From the spectacular hights of Machu Piccu to jungle valleys and desert floors, this video travels the awesome world of the ancient Incas. It reveals one of the most impressive civilizations the world has ever known, and shows how they achieved their stunning century of success.

The Indian Experience in the 20th Century: Before Columbus Series

Subject: Activism, Cultural Continuance, Religion and Sacred Places
Distrubuted By: Films for the Humanities, 1992
Audience: General
Length: 28 min.

Finally they can take no more and are fighting back. From Mohawks protesting the use of their sacred lands as a golf course to Cree fighting the construction of a hydroelectric dam, Native Americans - in the democracies of North America at least - get a public hearing in the media before "progress" gets its way. In Latin America, murder and suppression are the unpublicized rule; the program shows some of the devastating results in Guatemala and Columbia. The bright example is of the Kuna in Panama, who refuse to abandon their traditional life-style and, after a successful revolt in 1925, were permitted to live as they choose.

In the Light of Reverence

Subject: Religion and Sacred Places
Distributed by: Bullfrog Films, 2001
Audience: General
Length: 73 min.

Across the USA, Native americans are struggling to protect their sacred places. Religious freedom, so valued in America, is not guaranteed to those who practice land-based religion. Every year, more sacred sites - the land-based equivalent of the world's great cathedrals - are being destroyed. Stripmining and development cause much of the destruction. But rock climbers, tourists and New Age religious practitioners are part of the problem too. The biggest problem is ignorance. In the Light of Reverence tells the story of three indigenous communities and the lands they struggle to protect: the Lakota of the Great Plains, the Hopi of the Four Corners area, and the Wintu of northern California.

Into the Circle

Subject: Powwow
Distributed By: Full Circle Communications, 1992
Audience: General
Length: 58 min.

Featuring excerpts of dances across Oklahoma, students will see the vitality and variety that makes powwow something special. Slow motion sequences of national champions show the grace, power, and intricate steps of dance styles. Interviews with tribal elders, dances, and singers will help students know what to look and listen for. Historic photographs and eye witness accounts will relate how the powwow began and how it is still evolving.

In Whose Honor?

Subject: Activism, Mascots, Representations, Stereotypes
Distributed By: PBS Productions, POV, 1997
Audience: General
Length: 47 min.

The Cleveland Indians. Washington Redskins. Atlanta Braves. What's wrong with American Indian sports mascots? This moving, award-winning film is the first of its kind to address that subject. In Whose Honor? takes a critical look at the long-running practice of "honoring" American Indians as mascots and nicknames in sports. It follows the story of Native American mother Charlene Teters, and her transformation into the leader some are calling the "Rosa Parks of American Indians" as she struggles to protect her cultural symbols and identity.



Lighting the Seventh Fire

Subject: Activism, Cultural Continuance, Fishing Rights
Distributed by: PBS Productions/POV, 1995
Audience: General
Length: 50 min.

"Lighting The Seventh Fire" is a documentary film by Makah filmmaker Sandra Osawa. The film premiered on PBS stations across the nation in 1995. This powerful documentary focuses on the Ojibway fishing rights struggle during the 1980s in Northern Wisconsin. After decades of confrontations with State and Federal Fish and Game agencies the Wisconsin Ojibway (Chippewa) finally took their case involving Treaty Rights to the Supreme Court to settle the matter once and for all. The Supreme Court upheld the Wisconsin Chippewa Tribe's right to fish, including spear fishing, in off-reservation public lakes and rivers. This court decision should have put matters to rest, but it did not. Wisconsin's sport and recreational industries immediately launched an all out assault on Ojibway fishing practices and methods. This opposition would lead to the harassment and sabotage of Ojibway fisherman and property in an attempt to disregard the Supreme Court Ruling and force the Ojibway back onto their reservations. Osawa's film does an excellent job sifting through the history, facts, issues and underlying roots of this controversy. In the process of telling this story, a more profound story emerges; one of pride, hope and rebirth for Ojibway people who have returned to their traditional teachings and customs in this time of the seventh fire.



Mahnomia Wild Rice

Subject: Cultural Continuance, Treaty Rights
Distributed by: DeltaVision Entertainment, 1998
Audience: General
Length: 14 min.

This program examines Chippewa ricing methods and illustrates the growth cycle of the sacred grain called Mahnomin. Efforts by the 1854 Authority through the "Circle of Flight" program to improve and better manage wetland habitats are presented.

Mary Siemen & Elizabeth MacKenzie: Two Lives

Subject: Autobiography, Cultural Continuance
Distributed By: Individual, 1997
Audience: General

Interviews with Mary Siemen and Elizabeth MacKinenzie and a look at Dogrib cultural Traditions.

Momaday: Voice of the West

Subject: Literature
Distributed By: PBS Home Video, 1996
Audience: General, Literature Students
Length: 30 min.

This program profiles the Native American Pulitzer prize-winning author, painter, poet and teacher N. Scott Momaday whose poetic writings so clearly evoke the life and land of the Southwest. Seldom has the Native American experience been caught with such imagination, insight and authenticity as in Momaday's books. But he is not only a master at writing about his own people; his work penetrates universal sensitivities. The author brings understanding to whatever element of human dilemma is under his microscope, reflecting the feelings and experiences of his readers. Momaday reads from his own memoirs and shares revealing personal life stories with the viewers.

Mystery of the First Americans

Subject: Archaeology, Repatriation, Kennewick Man
Distributed by: Nova, 2000
Audience: General
Length: 60 min.

The stunning discovery of Kennewick Man threatens to rewrite the pre-history of the Americas. It has also sparked a legal battle between Native American groups who claim the bones and want them reburied immediately, and scientists who say the Kennewick man is a scientific treasure that must be studied. Join NOVA and delve into the astonishing mystery of the first Americans.



Nagi Kicopi - Calling Back the Spirit

Subject: Alcoholism and Substance Abuse
Distributed By: University Video Center, 2001
Audience: General
Length: 27 min.

A modern continuation of the Native American oral history tradition -- with accounts of battles and triumphs over alcohol abuse on the reservations. Narrated by Tantoo Cardinal

Nomads of the Rainforest

Subject: South America
Distributed By: NOVA, 1984
Audience: General, Anthropology
Length: 59 min.

Records a multidisciplinary expedition in 1983 to research the Waorani Indians who inhabit the rainforest of eastern Ecuador near the headwaters of the Amazon River. The Waorani are an ancient people who have traditionally inhabited some 8,000 square miles of rainforest where they have remained undisturbed because of their hostility toward outsiders. Today only a few families remain there, hunting game with blowguns and spears in the great expanse of forest. They also cultivate gardens, practicing ecologically sound methods and relying on tools and techniques similar to those used in the Stone Age.

The Native Americans Series:

The Nations of the Northeast
The Tribes of the Southeast
The People of the Great Plains I & II
The Natives of the Southwest
The Tribal People of the Northwest

Subject: Cultural Areas, Histories
Distributed By: TBS, 1994
Audience: General
Length: 6 hours.

The Native Americans tell their own story. Gain a stirring new perspective as tribal leaders share their rich histories and current challenges. Learn how the events of a turbulent past still impact present issues for Native Americans and all the people of this great land. Narrated by Joy Harjo.



One Has to Be Curious (Tem Que Ser Curioso)

Subject: Anthropology, South America
Distributed By: LAVA Productions, 1999
Audience: Filmakers, Antropologists, General
Length: 18 min.

The videomaker comments on the introduction of video documentation to his village in the Brazilian Amazon.



The Ride to Wounded Knee

Subject: Activism, Wounded Knee
Distributed By: Cinnamon Productions, 1992
Audience: General
Length: 85 min.

The Ride to Wounded Knee is the record of a journey on horseback, taken by a group of Lakota Indians in December, 1990 across the stark snow-swept landscape of South Dakota. For those Lakota making the arduous trip, the ride is more than a challenging test of physical endurance. It is a spiritual quest, which allows each rider to come in contact with the spirits of his ancestors. For the 250 mile trek follows no highway of asphalt, but retraces a ghostly trail through the buffalo grass - a trail that was taken a hundred years ago by Lakota men, women, and children making a final, harrowing journey... a journey to death at Wounded Knee. The film shows how the past and the present reflect each other. Sitting Bull's spirit narrates the story of his people 100 years ago, and stills and photographs document that history, along with newspaper reports from December, 1890.



Savagery & the American Indian "Civilization"

Subject: Assmilation, Cultural Continuance, Representations
Distributed by: Films for the Humanities and Sciences, 2000
Audience: General
Length: 50 min.

With the closing of the western frontier began the new Indian wars: the systematic cultural persecution of the Native Americans. This program documents the struggle of the scattered indigenous nations to reclaim and retain their language, history, and identity in the face of historical revisionism, coercive evagelism, and forcible assimilation. Indian rights advocate Vine Deloria, Jr.; members of the Oglala, Hunkpapa, and Sans Arc Sioux; and others describe the misguided practices, unscrupulous dealings, and outright cruelties of the United States against them and their peoples - and reveal an idomitable will to be who they are.

Savagery & the American Indian "Wilderness"

Subject: Archaeology, Representations, Stereotypes
Distributed by: Films for the Humanities and Sciences, 2000
Audience: General
Length: 51 min.

Archaological and historical evidence confirms that Native Americans lived in highly developed societies--and that vastly more tribe members died as a result of European settlement than had previously been suspected. In this program, historian William Cronon of Yale University, author Alvin Josephy, and others examin the physical, spiritual, and cultural destruction of the Native Americans, beginning with the 17th-century Puritan prejudices that helped generate the pernicious image of the "savage Indian" and ending with the 1890 massacre at Wounded Knee.

Search for the Lost Cave People

Subject: Archaeology
Distributed by: NOVA, 1998
Audience: General
Length: 60 min.

Join NOVA and a team of archaeologists on a breathtaking adventure along rushing rapids, up craggy mountainsides, and into the dusty recesses of dark chambers untouched for nearly a thousand years. Their finds -- the sacrificial sites of a legendary Zoque tribe from the time of the Maya -- are both disturbing and thrilling: centuries-old cotton cloth, mysterious drawings, remnants of food, fierce jaguar carvings, and the delicate bones of infants whose blood was shed to keep the gods appeased.

Searching for a Native American Identity - Louise Erdrich & Michael Dorris

Subject: Literature
Distributed by: The Moyers Collection, 1994
Audience: General, Lit Students
Length: 30 min.

Michael Dorris and Louise Erdrich were a husband-and-wife team who collaborated as writers. They attribute their beliefs in family, community, and place to their Native American heritage: she is half Chippewa, he is half Modoc. As native Americans, their writing reflects the difficulties of American Indians today. In this program with Bill Moyers, Erdrich and Dorris discuss faith and the search for a Native American identity in a pluralistic society.

Seasons of a Navajo

Subject: Southwest, Cultural Areas, Sacred Places
Distributed by: PBS Home Video, 1997
Audience: General
Length: 60 min.

The Navajo heritage of sacred songs, ceremonies and oral tradition comes alive in Seasons of a Navajo as viewers meet Chauncey and Dorothy Neboyia, grandparents to an extended family of two generations. Chauncey and Dorothy maintian their existence by farming, weaving, and tending sheep in a tradition hogan without water or electricity, while their children and their grandchildren attend modern public schools. This critically acclaimed public television documentary captures the traditional lifestyles of teh Navajo family and features striking photography of Arizona's ancient Anasazi ruins and the spectacular Monument Valley.

The Spirit of Crazy Horse

Subject: Activism, Wounded Knee
Distributed by: PBS Home Video, 1990
Audience: General
Length: 60 min.

One hundred years after the massacre at Wounded Knee, Milo Yellow Hair recounts the story of his people-from the lost battles for their land against the invading whites-to the bitter internal divisions and radicalization of the 1970's-to the present-day revival of Sioux cultural pride, which has become a unifying force as the Sioux try to define themselves and their future.

Sucker Punched

Subject: Alcoholism and Substance Abuse
Distributed by: University Video Center, 2000
Audience: General
Length: 27 min.

A compelling, true story about the consequences of alcoholism and substance abuse, Native American Delaney Apple of Rapid City, SD, describes his difficult life growing up on the Pine Ridge Reservation. He details a particularly horrific incident - inflamed by alcohol, drugs and violence - which stopped his life in its tracks. He then tells how his very existence was recreated through traditional Lakota spirituality.

Sweating Indian Style

Subject: New Age Religion, Appropriation
Distributed by: WMM, 1994
Audience: Women's Studies, General
Length: 57 min.

The appropriation of Native American traditions by non-Natives comes under thoughtful scrutiny in this insightful documentary. As it follows the New Age activities of a group of Californian women learning to construct a sweat lodge and perform their own ceremony, it raises important questions about the use of elements of Native culture out of context, apart from the complex realities of American Indian experience. Interviews with diverse Native American women point out the problems inherent in this increasingly popular New Age phenomenon and its relationship to traditional forms of colonialism.



Teaching Indians to Be White

Subject: Assimilation
Distributed by: Films for the Humanities, Inc., 1993
Audience: General
Length: 28 min.

Schools are where children are taught to integrate into society, and schools represent a major problem for native children - whether they are religious schools with native teachers; residential schools, which tear children away from their families and traditional values to turn them into the white man's conception of civilized people; or public day schools, where native children find it nearly impossible to balance the white view they are taught in school with the language and values they learn at home. Result: the Seminole of Florida resist being integrated, the Miccosukee decided not to fight but to join, and the Cree took back their own schools.

Thank You Brother

Subject: Anthropology, South America, Filmmaking
Distributed by: LAVA Films, 1999
Audience: Anthropology, General
Length: 19 min.

Divinio tells us how he got introduced to video. “Filming is my profession, that's what I was born to do ... not for work with the axe. I wasn't born to plant,” explains Divino. Today, he dominates the language of video and its filming and editing techniques. In this documentary, he describes the development of video works in partnership with his community.

Thieves of Time

Subject: Repatriation, Archaeology
Distributed by: PBS Video, 1992
Audience: General
Length: 30 min.

This dramatic story traces the history of our country's fascination with Indian burial grounds through 500 years of cultural, scientific and legal change...and tells of the emergence of new relationships among Native Americans, scientists and the museum community resulting from recent legislation governing the ownership and study of our nation's past.

Treaty Rights & Tribal Sovereignty

Subject: Treaty Rights, Sovereignty
Distributed by: DeltaVision, 1998
Audience: General
Length: 30 min.

Focuses on the 29 treaties that dealt specifically with the Indian tribes of Wisconsin in the mid-1800's, the aggressive pursuit of Indian treaty-retained rights to hunt, gather and fish in the 1970's and the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruling of 1983.

Tribal Natural Resources: Circle of Flight

Subject: Distributed by: DeltaVision, 1998
Audience: General
Length: 20 min.

Shows various tribal wildlife areas in Wisconsin and tells the importance of natural resources to Native Americans. Explains how in the 1990s, tribes banded together with Federal, State, and Local in the Circle of Fligh program that is administered by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

The Tribe that Time Forgot

Subject: South America, Anthropology
Distributed by: NOVA, 1994
Audience: General, Anthropology students
Length: 60 min.

The Tribe That Time Forgot is a look into an anthropological investigation of a tribe – long thought to be extinct- who call themselves the ‘Jaguar’ people. Deep in the Amazon rainforest. NOVA follows a two-man crew in their quest to uncover the reasons for the tribe’s stone-age lifestyle.



Understanding Powwow: Dance with Your Heart

Format: CD-ROM
Subject: Powwow
Distributed by: University of Iowa's American Indian Student Association, 2001
Audience: General, Powwow Practicuum
Length: n/a

A CD-ROM created by UI students involved in the annual Powwow compiled information on dance styles, regalia, and songs on a CD-ROM as a resource for future students involved in Powwow organization.

The University of Iowa Powwow - Interviews and Footage

Subject: Powwow
Distributed by: Individual footage, 1996 UI Powwow
Audience: General, Powwow Praticuum

Interviews and footage from the University of Iowa's AISA hosted annual Powwow.



Warrior: The Life of Leonard Peltier

Subject: Activism, Leonard Peltier, AIM
Distributed by: Cinnamon Productions, 1992
Audience: General
Length: 85 min.

Warrior is the shocking true story of Leonard Peltier, the American Indian leader locked away for life in leavenworth Penitentiary, convicted of the alleged murder of two FBI agents during the bloody shootout on the Pine Ridge Reservation in 1975. Around the world his trial and conviction have beancounter as a sham. Amnesty International, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Desmond Tutu, and more than 50 members of the new U.S. Congress have appealed for a new trial for the man who has come to symbolize the continued oppression of America's indigenous peoples. To understand Peltier's story, Warrior takes us back to the violent confrontation at Wounded Knee and Pine Ridge in the 70's, and then to today's Indian reservations where the government's plans for uranium mining and waste dumping are still being heatedly resisted by Indian activists. The heart of the film, though, is a detailed, painstaking account of Peltier's harrowing odyssey through the American justice system.

Warriors of the Amazon

Subject: South America
Distributed by: Nova, 1996
Audience: General
Length: 60 min.

Travel with NOVA to remote reaches of the Amazon rainforest to visit the Yanomami, an endangered tribe whose culture is built on fierce rivalries and communal harmony. Watch as two Yanomami villages attempt to reconcile past differences by sharing in a great feast. Family drama unfolds against the background of everyday life. A young woman who has been living in a rival village will now see her family for the first time in ten years. Meet Yanomami shamans who use hallucinogenic drugs to commune with the spirit world, practice magic to combat modern disease, and oversee the preparation of the ashes of the dead for consumption by their loved ones whose bodies act as a living tomb. Celebration and tragedy are both a part of this dramatic portrayal of a people on the brink of extinction.

When the Fire Dims

Subject: Alcoholism and Substance Abuse
Distributed by: New Day Films, 1998
Audience: General
Length: 17 min.

When the Fire Dims explores the social and psychological reality faced by many Native Americans and examines the complex relationship alcoholism, cultural alienation, colonization and urban existence play in one man's life as he struggles to survive this unknown world. The story is told through Jimmy, a Pomo Indian who has left the reservation for promises of a better life in the city. He attempts daily to escape his loneliness through his alcoholism, which brings visions of the family he once knew and the cultural traditions he once shared.

Without Reservations: Notes on Racism in Montana

Subject: Racism, Representations, Oppression
Distributed by: Native Voices, 1995
Audience: General
Length: 28 min.

Issues of racism as seen through the eyes of a grade school teacher on a reservation, an interracial couple, and a Native American man who experienced discrimination while working in a sheriff's office.

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The Xavante Initiation

Subject: South America, Brazil, Ear-piercing
Distributed by: LAVA Productions, 1999
Audience: Antropology students
Length: 75 min.

A documentary about an earpiercing initiation ritual of young Xavante Indians, directed by a Suya and four Xavante film makers during a training workshop of the Video in the Villages project.