July 21, 2016

Medicine Woman Available on DVD
Medicine Woman interweaves the lives of Native American women healers of today with the story of America's first Native doctor, Susan La Flesche Picotte (1865-1915). Doctor Picotte studied medicine at a time when few women dared. She graduated first in her class and returned home to serve as doctor to her Omaha tribe. During this heartbreaking and violent time she never gave up hope. 

The reverberations from her shattered world continue today as Native Americans suffer from alarming rates of disease, suicide and mental illness. Like Susan, these modern day medicine women from the Omaha, Lakota and Navajo tribes are fighting a war and sharing a confident, even joyful, approach to the work of healing. This one-hour documentary will premiere in November on PBS.

It's all interconnected and Native people speak of it that way.
It's the western world that needs to catch up.

-Dr. Lori Arviso Alvord

Produced by Christine Lesiak and Princella P. RedCorn (Omaha), the film demonstrates how Susan's fight for self-determination echoes down the years into the lives of today's medicine women. They struggle, as she did, to serve their people, to raise their families, and to hold onto their tribal identities. How can they hope to mend the wounds of body and spirit that history has created? And what have they learned about new ways of healing that can help us all? Actress Irene Bedard (Inupiat/Metis) is the voice of Doctor Susan. Poet and musician Joy Harjo (Mvskoke) narrates the documentary. 

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 www.visionmakermedia.org.   
Crew Bios:

Christine Lesiak is a Peabody Award winning producer who has produced, written and directed numerous award-winning documentaries, specializing in history and the humanities.

Standing Bear's Footsteps, which explored the landmark trial of Ponca Chief Standing Bear to prove that Indians are persons under the law, premiered on PBS in 2012 and received both a Heartland Emmy and a Gabriel Award. Her film In the White Man's Image, the Emmy-nominated documentary about the 19th century attempt to assimilate Native Americans, was awarded best history program by the Organization of American Historians and is still in use in multi-cultural classes across America.

Her American Experience documentary, Monkey Trial, about the 1925 clash between science and religion, won both the Writer's Guild Award and the George Foster Peabody Award in 2002. Lesiak wrote and co-produced Willa Cather-The Road is All for the PBS series "American Masters."

Previous programs Lesiak produced for PBS and "American Experience" include Around the World in 72 Days, Wild Horses-An American Romance, and Hearts of Zambia, about the HIV/AIDS crisis in Africa. Yours, Willa Cather, a multi-faceted exploration that includes a documentary, an iBook, and an interactive website and reading club.

Lesiak is a summa cum laude graduate of the UCLA School of Theater Arts. She received her MFA in film and television from UCLA in 1977.

Princella Parker RedCorn has extensive experience in all aspects of media production, including research, documentary production, shooting, sound engineer, editing, youth media workshops, and the creation of film websites, educational curriculum and digital learning objects. She worked as Associate Producer on Standing Bear's Footsteps, assisting NET Television's Executive Producer Christine Lesiak with script development, production planning and providing logistical support throughout the production. 

RedCorn is a member of the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska and a graduate of Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in broadcast theater. 

Contact: Susan Hartmann * (402) 472-8607, shartmann@netad.unl.edu