November 3, 2015

Contact: Susan Helmink

November 3, 2015
For Immediate Release:
Vision Maker Media Films 
Highlight WORLD Channel's
Native American Culture Celebration 

(Lincoln, Nebraska): Ushering in November with moving original content, WORLD Channel programs feature narratives that chronicle the indigenous experience and culture for Native American Heritage Month. WORLD features the best of public television's original documentary films and news, including Our Voices, Independent Lens, America ReFramed, and Local, USA.
Programs for Native American Heritage Month recognize the importance of aboriginal historical contributions to the establishment and growth of the United States and the brilliance of Native American culture. "These films examine the past, present and future for Native Americans in this country, on and off the reservation", said Chris Hastings, WORLD Channel's executive producer. "Our Voices: Native American Nations shares Native stories of culture, experience and identity from both individuals and communities." Debuting films as a part of this collection include:
LaDonna Harris: Indian 101 (Tues. Nov. 3) 
A Comanche from Oklahoma, LaDonna helped convince the Nixon administration to return sacred ground to the Taos Pueblo Indians of New Mexico, in 1970 founded the Americans for Indian Opportunity and became a vice-presidential nominee in 1980.

Crying Earth Rise Up (Tues. Nov. 3) [NEW RELEASE]
A Lakota mother studying geology seeks the source of the water contamination that caused her daughter's critical health problems. Meanwhile, a Lakota grandmother fights the regional expansion of uranium mining. Crying Earth Rise Up exposes the human cost of uranium mining and its impact on Great Plains drinking water.

Yellow Fever (Tues. Nov. 3)
Tina Garnanez, a young Navajo woman, begins a personal investigation into the history of the Navajo Uranium Boom, examining its lasting impacts and the potential for new mining in the area. Looking at the cost of cheap energy and the future of the industry, Tina becomes an advocate, lobbyist, and a vocal proponent for environmental justice.

SOL (Wed. Nov. 4) [NEW RELEASE]
Sol explores the mysterious death of a young Inuk man, Solomon Tapatia Uyarasuk.  He is found dead at a Royal Canadian Mounted Police detachment in a remote Inuit community and the locals suspect murder, but the police suggest suicide. As the documentary investigates the truth about Solomon's death, it sheds light on the underlying social issues of Canada's North.

Become a first eye-witness in the journey of Dr. Arne Vainio (Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe) as he realizes that he needs to digest and personally implement the advice that he gives his own middle-aged patients upon his impending 50th birthday.

Racing the Rez (Fri. Nov. 6)
For Navajo and Hopi Tribes, running is more than a sport. The film moves beyond stereotypes of the past and present as two high school boys' cross country teams--Tuba City and Chinle--compete for the state championship title.

Indian Relay (Fri. Nov. 6)
A style of bareback horse racing involving four to eight teams, consist of families with Indian Relay roots stretching back generations. Bragging rights and money are at stake for the teams that compete in the circuit.

Our Fires Still Burn (Mon. Nov. 16)
This exciting and compelling one hour documentary invites viewers into the lives of contemporary Native American role models living in the Midwest. It dispels the myth that American Indians have disappeared from the American horizon, and reveals how they continue to persist, heal from the past, confront the challenges of today, keep their culture alive, and make great contributions to society. Their experiences will deeply touch both Natives and non-Natives and help build bridges of understanding, respect, and communication.

Rising Voices/Hothaninpi┬  (Mon. Nov. 16) [NEW RELEASE]
Lakota youth in particular are eager to re-appropriate the language and its embedded concepts of place, ethics, action and purpose--on their own terms, sometimes in ways that clash with others' expectations or the status quo.

The Medicine Game (Tues. Nov. 17)
Two brothers from the Onondaga Nation pursue their dreams of playing lacrosse for Syracuse University. With the dream nearly in reach, the boys are caught in a constant struggle to define their Native identity, live-up to their family's expectations and balance challenges on and off the Reservation.

The film presents audiences with a vision of one of the most unique natural landscapes in North America--the Atchafalaya Basin, which is the largest river swamp in America and is now feeding nearly a million acres of bottomland hardwoods, bayous and backwater lakes.

Swift Water Place (Tues. Nov. 17) [NEW RELEASE]
For over 50 years, archaeologist Dr. Douglas Anderson, of Brown University, studied the I˝upiaq Natives of Northwestern Alaska. When one of the last excavations of his career shut down due to the discovery of human remains, he must rely on the relationships he has built with the I˝upiaq. 

Choctaw Code Talkers (Sat. Nov. 21)
In 1918, not yet citizens of the United States, Choctaw members of the American Expeditionary Forces were asked to use their Native language as a powerful tool against the German Forces in World War I--setting a precedent for code talking as an effective military weapon and establishing them as America's original code talkers.

Continue the conversation by visiting the WORLD on Facebook and on Twitter.  For more information and a complete listing of other original WORLD Channel programming, visit

About WORLD Channel
The WORLD Channel delivers the best of public television's nonfiction, news and documentary programing to US audiences through local public television stations and streaming online at WORLD reached 35.8 million unique viewers 18+ last year (55 percent of adults 18-49) and over-indexes in key diversity demographics.* Online, the WORLD Channel expands on broadcast topics and fuels dialogue across social media, providing opportunities for broad and diverse audience interaction (*Source: Nielsen Local Buyer Reach Scorecard 01/14-12/14). WORLD is programmed by WGBH/Boston, in partnership with American Public Television and WNET/New York, and in association with the American Public Television and National Educational Telecommunications Association. Funding for the WORLD Channel is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Ford Foundation. Additional funding for "America ReFramed" is provided by the MacArthur Foundation.
Maya Gaul
National Marketing, WGBH


About Vision Maker Media
Vision Maker Media shares Native stories with the world that represent the cultures, experiences, and values of American Indians and Alaska Natives. Founded in 1977, Vision Maker Media, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) which receives major funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, nurtures creativity for development of new projects, partnerships, and funding. Vision Maker Media is the premier source for quality Native American and Pacific Islander educational and home videos. All aspects of our programs encourage the involvement of young people to learn more about careers in the media--to be the next generation of storytellers. Located at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, we offer student employment and internships. For more information, visit

Susan Helmink, Director of Communications
Vision Maker Media | 402-472-8607

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