The Native American film festival called Native Crossroads will begin on Thursday, February 7th, 2012 http://oudaily.com/events/2013/feb/07/5780/
The film series is the brainchild of a mix of the Native American Studies, Anthropology, History, Literature and Film staff at the University of Oklahoma. Noone at the University had previously attempted to offer Native American subject matter for a film festival. Native Crossroads was reviewed on KGOU member station of National Public Radio http://www.kgou.org/index.php?news-management&action=view_news&news_id=4850
All showings for Native Crossroads are free and open to the public, and some other short films will be shown during daytime hours. Films will be shown at the Sam Nobel Museum of Natural History .http://www.snomnh.ou.edu/
The Thursday night featured works are Up Heartbreak Hill , a film from http://nativetelecom.org/files/erica200.jpg Erica Scharf as the filmmaker. This story focuses on successful High School distance runners relationship together and decisions regarding opportunities they are faced with.
The Friday night featured work will also be followed by a discussion panel, as the topic of First Circle regards the issue of Native Child Adoptions. Made in Oregon and Idaho, the film was shot under the direction of Heather Rae, Russell Friedenberg and Randy Redroad.
The subject of First Circle deals with both the history and current status of the Indian Child Welfare Act ( ICWA) of 1978 http://www.nicwa.org/indian_child_welfare_act/
This federal law and policy came forward second to protests regarding child placements. As with Indian removals ( like the Trail of Tears), children were being removed and placed away from their families and Tribes at an alarming rate prior to the law and abiding collection of policies being passed.
The discussion panel for First Circle will tackle some aspects of Native Adoptions, considering the current review of a famous national case and the legal retention or possible revision of the Indian Child Welfare Act. Dr. Sarah Kastelic http://www.nicwa.org/staff/Sarah_Hicks/ from the ICW office will be one of the speakers featured. Many aspects of the film, family and Tribal culture will be explored in relation to the ICWA.
In recent news reports, Canada references their tribal peoples as indigenous or First Nations. The US references Tribal Members as Native Americans. Both have had recent and remote histories of struggles with regards to rights over tribe, family life and land.
Both First Nations and Native Americans refers to persons who have tribal membership or tribal affiliations in either group. Oklahoma has one of the largest US densities of Native Americans, and is often referred to as Indian Country. There are probably more tribes than most people realize. http://500nations.com/tribes/Tribes_State-by-State.asp Tribes are managed under the Bureau of Indian Affairs or the BIA http://www.bia.gov/WhoWeAre/BIA/OIS/TribalGovernmentServices/TribalDirec…
All that said, Native Americans still only make up 1.2% of the US population. http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/00000.html, which will surely be part of the focused discussion after either film.
Native Crossroads is a welcome art and educational forum, the first hopefully of many.
++++++ http://snaptwig.com/article/off-the-chain-santa-fe-south-high-school… if you want to see the live positive influence of an Oklahoma University Alum and education on Native America, try following this greater OKC area HS teacher, his navigational journey for higher education for self and and his students using both sports and education to meet a goal.
http://www.pbs.org/pov/upheartbreakhill/ this is the link for the PBS documentary.