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Sacheen Littlefeather Talks About What Really Happened Before, During And After Rejecting Marlon Brando’s Oscar

Sacheen Littlefeather Talks About What Really Happened Before, During And After Rejecting Marlon Brando’s Oscar

Before Chris Rock and Will Smith and the Oscars slap heard ‘round the world, there was Sacheen Littlefeather.

Littlefeather became a household name overnight back in 1973 — a viral moment long before TikTok and other social media made those common. She did it by politely commanding the stage at the 45th Academy Awards, refusing to accept the Oscar on behalf of legendary actor Marlon Brando for his role in The Godfather and speaking out against the shameful treatment of Native Americans onscreen and off.

‘Dark Winds’ Review: Murder Most Foul in the Navajo Nation

‘Dark Winds’ Review: Murder Most Foul in the Navajo Nation

The natural way to lead a review of “Dark Winds,” which premieres Sunday on AMC, would be to note that it is a series written, directed and performed largely by Native Americans; set in the Navajo Nation and filmed on location in New Mexico; and bringing to screen the tribal police officers Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee from Tony Hillerman’s best-selling mystery novels.

Or you could cut to the chase and just say: Oh thank God, someone finally gave Zahn McClarnon his own television show. Read More

Imagining the Indian Continues its Film Festival Run

Imagining the Indian Continues its Film Festival Run

Imagining the Indian: The Fight Against Native American Mascoting will make its Boston premiere at the Boston International Film Festival (BIFF) The film will be screened Monday, April 18, at 2:30 p.m. ET at the AMC Boston Common 19 Theatre (175 Tremont St., Boston, MA 02111) Tickets for Boston International Film Festival – FilmFreeway, with a screening, and post-screening discussion with the film’s directors and producers. View the Trailer

read more…

San Manuel commits $1 million to film denouncing American Indian mascots in pro sports

San Manuel commits $1 million to film denouncing American Indian mascots in pro sports

For more than half a century, American Indian tribes and their advocates tried in vain to persuade professional sports teams to drop names offensive to Native peoples.

But the movement finally gained traction in recent years. Washington’s pro football team dropped its Redskins moniker in 2020 after decades of protest, and last month announced it had adopted the name Commanders. In July, the Cleveland Indians, which dropped the club’s Chief Wahoo mascot in 2019, announced it was changing its name to the Guardians. The Major League Baseball club had been the Indians for more than a century, since 1915.

Imagining the Indian to World Premiere  at California’s American Indian & Indigenous Film Festival

Imagining the Indian to World Premiere at California’s American Indian & Indigenous Film Festival

View the Trailer

Feature Documentary Film details the past, present, and future of insidious Native American-themed mascots and imagery, including the Washington Football Team 

For Immediate Release:

Washington, D.C.Imagining the Indian: The Fight Against Native American Mascoting will make its world premiere at California’s American Indian & Indigenous Film Festival. The festival highlights the best of current films from American Indian filmmakers, producers, directors, and actors working through Indian Country. Imagining the Indian will close out the Festival on Sunday, April 3rd 2022 with a screening, Q&A, and post-screening reception. View the Trailer

“We are so proud to premiere this film at California’s American Indian & Indigenous Film Festival. We made this film for the good of Indian Country and with the support of Indian Country, and we are excited to debut at a festival focused on Native films and filmmakers,” said Co-Director Ben West. 

Imagining the Indian is a comprehensive examination of the movement to eradicate the words, images, and gestures that many Native Americans and their allies find demeaning and offensive. Included among those is the former name and imagery of the Washington Football Team. While the filmmakers are encouraged by the Team’s announcement to move away from the racist name they profited from for decades, they realize that the fight against Native American Mascoting is far from over. 

The Kansas City National Football League (NFL) Team, the Chicago National Hockey League (NHL) Team, and the Atlanta Major League Baseball (MLB) Team remain adamant that they will not change their team names or practices, including the insidious Tomahawk/Arrowhead Chop. Additionally, close to 2,000 secondary schools throughout the country still have harmful Native themed mascots. Imagining the Indian seeks to shine on a light on these harms. 

“Changing the Washington Football Team’s name is long overdue, but the victory is only piecemeal until the other pro and amateur teams also choose new names,” said Co-Director Aviva Kempner. 

“And eradicating Native American mascoting will rid us of its perniciousness, which is that exposure to it is at the root of negative stereotyping and treatment of all people of color,” said Co-Producer Kevin Blackistone. 

The filmmaking team behind Imagining the Indian look forward to premiering the film at California’s American Indian & Indigenous Film Festival. The film is made possible by generous support from Executive Producers Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation and San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, and Co-Executive Producers Jessica and Steve Sarowitz. 

The film is Produced by the Ciesla Foundation, Co-Directed and Co-Produced by Aviva Kempner and Ben West (Cheyenne), and Co-Produced by Kevin Blackistone, Yancey Burns, and Sam Bardley. Interviewees include Activist Suzan Shown Harjo (Cheyenne/Hodulgee Muscogee), Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland (Laguna Pueblo), Olympic Gold-Medalist Billy Mills (Oglala Lakota), Founding Director of the National Museum of the American Indian W. Richard West Jr. (Southern Cheyenne), Washington Football Team Legend Charles Mann, Congressman Jamie Raskin, Broadcaster Bob Costas, and NAACP President Derrick Johnson, among many others.

For more information on Imagining the Indian: The Fight Against Native American Mascoting and California’s American Indian & Indigenous Film Festival, visit www.imaginingtheindianfilm.org and https://www.caiiff.com/

Washington to reveal new name Feb. 2; won’t be RedWolves

Washington to reveal new name Feb. 2; won’t be RedWolves

Washington’s NFL team announced it will unveil its new name on Feb. 2 and that it will not be called the Wolves or RedWolves.

Commanders, Defenders, Red Hogs, Armada, Presidents, Brigade and the status quo “Washington Football Team” were the other finalists.

Washington Football Team’s new name, new look — and new game — means there’s a lot to cheer

Washington Football Team’s new name, new look — and new game — means there’s a lot to cheer

The Washington Football Team’s nail-biter against the Raiders in Las Vegas on Sunday was fun to watch. But the best part of the game was what I didn’t have to watch.

No Native American imagery misused as sports mascots. No drugstore Indian iconography. No racial slur passed off as a team name. No “R” word printed on jerseys or painted in big bold letters in the end zone.

Instead, I saw my home team — with a new name, a new look and a refreshingly spirited new game. Stripped of the offensive 19th-century Native American stereotypes, the 21st-century Washington Football Team looked like a team I might be able to root for.

Cleveland Indians officially changing name to Guardians

Cleveland Indians officially changing name to Guardians

A new era of big-league baseball in Cleveland is about to start. The Guardians will be off and running.

The hitting and fielding comes in a few months.

The Indians will officially transition to Guardians on Friday, completing a name change that has been happening in stages — and with one unplanned complication — over the past few months.

“Indians” sign removed from Progressive Field as MLB team transitions to Cleveland Guardians

“Indians” sign removed from Progressive Field as MLB team transitions to Cleveland Guardians

The “Indians” sign that has overlooked Cleveland’s Progressive Field since it opened in 1994 is coming down on Tuesday, as the city’s Major League Baseball team changes its name and branding to the Guardians. However, the team’s rebranding hit a snag last week when a roller derby team accused them of stealing their name.

The removal of the script “Indians” sign that sits above the scoreboard could take several days, according to Cleveland.com. It is the first step in the team’s transition into its new brand.

Press Coverage

Witness the films traction, as several news outlets, subject matter experts and concerned citizens voice their support.

Imagining the Indian Continues its Film Festival Run

Imagining the Indian Continues its Film Festival Run

Imagining the Indian: The Fight Against Native American Mascoting will make its Boston premiere at the Boston International Film Festival (BIFF) The film will be screened Monday, April 18, at 2:30 p.m. ET at the AMC Boston Common 19 Theatre (175 Tremont St., Boston, MA 02111) Tickets for Boston International Film Festival – FilmFreeway, with a screening, and post-screening discussion with the film’s directors and producers. View the Trailer

read more…

San Manuel commits $1 million to film denouncing American Indian mascots in pro sports

San Manuel commits $1 million to film denouncing American Indian mascots in pro sports

For more than half a century, American Indian tribes and their advocates tried in vain to persuade professional sports teams to drop names offensive to Native peoples.

But the movement finally gained traction in recent years. Washington’s pro football team dropped its Redskins moniker in 2020 after decades of protest, and last month announced it had adopted the name Commanders. In July, the Cleveland Indians, which dropped the club’s Chief Wahoo mascot in 2019, announced it was changing its name to the Guardians. The Major League Baseball club had been the Indians for more than a century, since 1915.

Imagining the Indian: The Fight Against Native American Mascoting and California’s American Indian & Indigenous Film Festival

Imagining the Indian is a comprehensive examination of the movement to eradicate the words, images, and gestures that many Native Americans and their allies find demeaning and offensive.  Included among those is the former name and imagery of the Washington Football Team. While the filmmakers are encouraged by the Team’s announcement to move away from the racist name they profited from for decades, they realize that the fight against Native American Mascoting is far from over.

“Imagining the Indian” to Have World Premiere at California’s American Indian and Indigenous Film Festival

“Imagining the Indian” to Have World Premiere at California’s American Indian and Indigenous Film Festival

The timely documentary Imagining the Indian: The Fight Against Native American Mascoting will make its world premiere at California’s American Indian & Indigenous Film Festival. The festival highlights the best of current films from American Indian filmmakers, producers, directors, and actors working through Indian Country. Imagining the Indian will close out the Festival on Sunday, April 3, 2022 with a screening, Q&A, and post-screening reception. View the Trailer now.

Watch Trailer for Documentary ‘Imagining the Indian: The Fight Against Native American Mascoting’

Watch Trailer for Documentary ‘Imagining the Indian: The Fight Against Native American Mascoting’

The timely documentary Imagining the Indian: The Fight Against Native American Mascoting co-directed by Aviva Kempner and Ben West (Cheyenne) will make its world premiere at California’s American Indian & Indigenous Film Festival. The festival highlights the best of current films from American Indian filmmakers, producers, directors, and actors working through Indian Country. Imagining the Indian will close out the Festival on Sunday, April 3, 2022 with a screening, Q&A, and post-screening reception.

VIDEO: IMAGINING THE INDIAN Documentary Trailer

VIDEO: IMAGINING THE INDIAN Documentary Trailer

The timely documentary Imagining the Indian: The Fight Against Native American Mascoting will make its world premiere at California’s American Indian & Indigenous Film Festival. The festival highlights the best of current films from American Indian filmmakers, producers, directors, and actors working through Indian Country. Imagining the Indian will close out the Festival on Sunday, April 3, 2022 with a screening, Q&A, and post-screening reception.

What Winning Should Really Look Like for the Washington Football Team

While the Washington Football Team’s NFC East championship and team owner Dan Snyder’s decision to rename the franchise (though only after succumbing to political and investor pressure) are major victories in the fight for dismantling harmful stereotypes, the organization’s underlying sexist culture must still be addressed.

Aviva Kempner and Jessie Atkin discuss the underlying sexist culture in the Washington Football organization and the intersection of sexism and racism across our popular culture.

“It’s time for a reckoning.”

“This is an important subject and an important film.”

“Racial slurs shouldn’t be a regular part of everyday conversations, let alone cherished and institutionalized. It’s time for sports fans to open their eyes.”

Tribal Council

Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation
Northern California

Committed to
Our Mission

Our goal is to raise awareness of the issue of Native American Mascoting, expand the understanding, and appreciation, of Native American culture, and empower a movement towards widespread social sensitivity.

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We appreciate your shared committment to ensuring this message reaches the masses. 

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Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation

Lead Executive Producer  |  Website

San Manuel Band of Mission Indians 

Executive Producer  |  Website

Jessica and Steve Sarowitz

Co-Executive Producer 

Aviva Kempner

Director & Producer  |  View Bio

Ben West

Director & Producer |  View Bio

Sam Bardley

Producer  |  View Bio

Kevin Blackistone

Producer  |  View Bio

Barbara Ballow

Editor  |  View Bio

Yancey Burns

Producer  |  View Bio

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