Native American Media Resources
In honor of Native American Heritage month, our community partner, Sierra Native Alliance, has shared several resources for movies and media related to Native Americans that have come out in the last year.
For informative viewing on Native American topics, the second season of Native America will be available during the month of November on PBS.
A film that is generating a lot of discussion is the Martin Scorsese film, Killers of the Flower Moon, which is currently in Placer theaters. This film centers on the real story of an Osage woman, Mollie Burkhart, played by Lily Gladstone and her husband, Ernest Burkhart played by our friend Leonardo DiCaprio. This film is based on the 2017 nonfiction book by the same name that chronicles a tragic period of American history when many tribal people were murdered or cheated out of treaty lands by White settlers, especially when resources such as water, oil, gold and minerals were involved.
The film illustrates the impact of the Indian Removal Act of 1830, which moved many tribes off of their historic lands through the Trail of Tears to reservations in Oklahoma; and the General Allotment Act of 1906 which then authorized the break up reservation lands, which according to treaty was to held in common by the tribe, into small allotments to be parceled out through individual ownership by tribal members. The General Allotment Act placed tribal people at risk for being cheated out of their lands and resources by being declared “incompetent” to handle their affairs, institutionalized, or murdered.
During this time, Native women were targets of predatory White men who courted, married, and did away with their wives to obtain land and resource rights. Many Native women went missing or were murdered. These events, along with the massacre of the Black Wall Street community in Tulsa that were largely covered up by local and state authorities, were part of the events that established the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1908.
Series Available Online
For enjoyment, the Amazon series Three Pines is based on the engaging mystery novels written by Louise Penny, following Chief Inspector Armand Gamache set in Quebec. In the series, the town of Three Pines borders on the Iotenen’ton:ni Mohawk community. One of the cases that Inspector Gamache takes on is the disappearance of a young Mohawk mother, Blue Two-Rivers. While not the central topic, the series touches on current issues related to missing and murdered Indigenous people, including lack of appropriate police investigation and corruption. As Inspector Gamache wrestles with personal and transformational challenges, his enigmatic investigative approach leads him towards becoming a hero for justice.
The last season of Reservation Dogs on Hulu was pretty enjoyable too. We hope that you enjoy the viewing and continue to become more aware of the diverse Native American history and experience.