Loving Donation
Gift Honors California Educator's Passion 
For Advancing Native Stories, Filmmaking
When 59-year-old Sue Kefauver, a film studies and filmmaking teacher from California, passed away in October after her battle against glioblastoma her husband Larry Wainblat looked for a special way to honor Sue's memory. Sue had a lifelong interest in the concerns of Native American communities and how Natives are portrayed in film. She championed digital filmmaking and promoted student film productions. 

Larry chose Vision Maker Media because we support American Indians and Alaska Natives to tell their own stories, concerns that were close to Sue's heart. With the help of Larry's company, his donation was doubled. 

Larry's choice could not have been more fitting, considering Sue's lifelong passion for working with student filmmakers and her deep concern for Native American communities, which stemmed from being an exchange student in the Navajo Nation while in high school. Sue also coordinated educational programs on the Tulalip Reservation in Washington and wrote her thesis about the misappropriation of American Indian images in cinema, examining efforts by Native American filmmakers to correct the narrative by telling their communities' own stories.

In 2005, together with three other teachers, Sue helped found Freestyle Academy, an innovative and intensive two-year program for high school juniors and seniors that combined an integrated curriculum in English, critical thinking, visual arts, and digital and web technology. She established Freestyle's digital filmmaking program, guiding her students through the production of dozens of student films, several of which won awards in local film festivals.

We are pleased that friends and family chose to honor Sue's memory by giving back to the
Native American community through Vision Maker Media. Learn more.

Check Out Vision Maker Media's 2015 Progress
Progress can be measured in many ways. Ours is measured by the amount of programming we provide and the number of telecasts aired. Each time our programs are aired they tell Native stories, helping Tribal People advance their causes through the power of digital storytelling.

In 2015, Vision Maker Media delivered 15 hours of programming that 90 percent of public television stations broadcast in more than 34,000 telecasts.

These programs tell both contemporary and historic stories that focus on health, language, suicide and cultural misappropriation. Some of our films have educational guides to help educators encourage classroom discussion. We also provide Tribes the tools they need to preserve their media archives. These are just a few of the activities you can explore in your quest to become a part of Vision Maker Media's journey to provide high-quality educational programming about Native Peoples. Get involved.

Technologists Needed
Tribeca Hacks <NDN Identity> Moved to Feb. 4-7
Have a great story idea about Native identity? Apply to Tribeca Hacks <NDN Identity>. The Hackathon at Bacone College in Muskogee, Oklahoma, has been moved to Feb. 4-7. And we need more technologists to apply. Workshops give creative media artists the insight and skills to develop robust interactive prototypes or projects that effectively engage with audiences. 

The four-day event is offered in partnership with Vision Maker Media, Tribeca Film Institute, Pacific Islanders in Communications, OETA and Bacone. It features creative talent from across the United States in a medium in which all filmmakers, designers, technologists, visual artists and storytellers will find inspiration. To apply, contact Georgiana Lee at glee@netad.unl.edu or 402-472-0497.

Vision Maker Film Festival Update
Medicine Woman Opens Festival March 11

Dr. Lucy Her Many Horses (Rosebud Sioux) consults with a patient at the WIC clinic in Mission, South Dakota, on the Rosebud Reservation, October 2014. Photo: Princella Parker RedCorn (Omaha)
Medicine Woman, a film by Christine Lesiak and Princella Parker RedCorn (Omaha) opens the Sixth Biennial Vision Maker Film Festival Friday, March 11, at the Riepma Ross Media Arts Center. An opening reception at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Van Brunt Visitors Center will honor Peggy Berryhill (Muscogee) with the Second Annual Frank Blythe Award for Media Excellence. A screening of Warrior Women, originally set for March 10, will be rescheduled at Film Streams in Omaha later in the spring.

More than a dozen Native guest speakers involved with the films being showcased will be invited. Like our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/vmfilmfest/ for updates.

John Trudell, 69, Loses Fight Against Cancer

John Trudell (Santee Dakota) was a noted activist, poet and Native thinker.
John Trudell (Santee Dakota) noted activist, poet and Native thinker, died Dec. 8 after a lengthy battle with cancer. His family included some of his last messages to Indian Country in a press release. Among them: "I want people to remember me as they remember me."

John led a life dedicated to Indigenous human rights, land and language issues. He helped spark a spoken word movement that is a continuation of Native American oral traditions. 

Born Feb. 15, 1946, in Omaha, Nebraska, he spent his early years living on the Santee Reservation in northern Nebraska. His father was Santee and his mother was of Mexican Indian heritage. John claimed that he had a normal life until his mother died when he was just 6, and the new rock and roll music resonated with him from ages 9-12. He often said that high school was not good for him, and "to get away" he enlisted in the U.S. Navy from 1963 until 1967. He married Fenicia "Lou" Ordonez in 1968 in California and briefly attended college, thinking he would study radio and broadcasting.

John is featured in the Vision Maker Media film Trudell, an engaging life story that includes his heartfelt message of active, personal responsibility to the earth, all of its inhabitants and our descendants. Read more

'Kind Hearted Woman' Robin Poor Bear Dies at 38

Robin Poor Bear (Oglala Sioux) speaks to reporters at the Television Critics Association Press Tour in 2013. Photo: Rahoul  Ghose, PBS.
Robin Poor Bear (Oglala Sioux), subject of the public television documentary Kind Hearted Woman, died last month at her home in Fort Totten, North Dakota. The local Grand Forks Herald reported that the cause of the 38-year-old's death was "unclear."

Filmmaker David Sutherland (The Farmer's Wife) spent more than three years following the divorced single mother, then known as Robin Charboneau, who was struggling to raise two children on the Spirit Lake Reservation while coping with the long-term effects of sexual abuse she endured as a child.

The two-part film aired in April 2013 as a joint production of Frontline and Independent Lens. Robin told writers at the Television Critics Association Press Tour in 2013 how the film changed her life. She is survived by her two children, Darian and Anthony.

Because of Your Support . . .
Watch a Preview of Our Newest Films
Hearing and sharing Native stories helps ensure that future generations will continue to connect with their traditions. Preserving and re-purposing media in Indian Country is just one way we honor our Elders. The changing needs of Indigenous electronic storytellers prompted Vision Maker Media to provide lessons to Native Peoples about how to care for their media library, ensuring Native stories can be preserved for the future. 

Thanks to your help, we can continue to preserve Native history and encourage an accurate and well-balanced portrayal of Indigenous People.

We thank those of you who provided your support during our first fiscal quarter.

Dawn AmoryBrendon McCauley
John AndrewsAnn McKeighan
James BerthetTodd Mechling
Excilda BirdJeff  Meyers
Victor and Joanne ChandlerCassandrea Miller
Roy  ClemJohn Nacke
Sue CroninMary Kathryn Nagle
JoAnna DaleNancy Nagramada
Scott DanaharKirk Perez
Jenna DimeglioBruce Peterson
Colette EastmanPenelope Phillips
Judy EgglestonDonna Powless
Jacqueline GaessH. Peter Reinkordt
Donna L. GiltonTane Ross
Merry GlosbandJoseph Rousseau
Susan HelminkDan Schiedel
Anne HelmsJodi Schwartz
Kim HollandMichael Sciascio
Holly HorikawaDouglas Scott Sr.
Ann Hume FreimuthShirley K. Sneve
Alice KleinVirginia and Vance Sneve
Theodora KramerLisa C. Sparagano
Susan KyleKay Stone
Daniel  LinDawn Sudano
Patty LoewSteve Thomas
Joyce LolingaLarry Wainblat
Laura MarkmanAl and Rhetta Walter
Linda MarraConstance Yost

We need continued support to educate Native People about how to preserve and share their stories so that these stories continue to be told. Help us provide needed education to safeguard media collections already in danger of destruction.

You can help support our efforts. Please join us by donating online now.

Vision Maker Media Receives Major Funding from the
Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB)


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Sent On: 12/11/15