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LIT 233: Native American Literature, Dr. Harsh Sharma: Films and Media
A library research guide on Native American Literature.
Late one afternoon in May 1539, the world of the Pueblo Indians changed forever when Estebanico - a Black slave from Morocco - and his 300 retinue of Mexican Indians marched into the Zuni city of Hawikuh. Through wild tales and exaggerations, Hawikuh would be transformed into one of the fabled Seven Golden Cities of Cibola, and a year later, Coronado and his soldiers would wreak destruction and violence on this peaceful world in search of non existent gold. Surviving Columbus is a search for the Pueblo people's view of these first encounters with European civilization, told exclusively through the voices and visions of the Pueblo Indians.
Family relationships are never simple. But Sherman Alexie's bond with his mother Lillian was more complex than most. She plunged her family into chaos with a drinking habit, but shed her addiction when it was on the brink of costing her everything. She survived a violent past, but created an elaborate facade to hide the truth. She selflessly cared for strangers, but was often incapable of showering her children with the affection that they so desperately craved. She wanted a better life for her son, but it was only by leaving her behind that he could hope to achieve it. It's these contradictions that made Lillian Alexie a beautiful, mercurial, abusive, intelligent, complicated, and very human woman.
With the end of the Civil War, the nation recommenced its expansion onto traditional Indian tribal lands, setting off a wide-ranging conflict that would last more than three decades. In an exploration of the wars and negotiations that destroyed tribal ways of life even as they made possible the emergence of the modern United States, Peter Cozzens gives us both sides in comprehensive and singularly intimate detail. He illuminates the encroachment experienced by the tribes and the tribal conflicts over whether to fight or make peace, and explores the squalid lives of soldiers posted to the frontier and the ethical quandaries faced by generals who often sympathized with their native enemies.
Rich landscapes, dramatic reenactments, historical photographs and haunting music combine to make this a compelling look inside some of the most powerful and honored tribes in American history: the Iroquois, Seminole, Navajo, Cheyenne, and Lakota Sioux.
They were charismatic and forward thinking, imaginative and courageous, compassionate and resolute, and, at times, arrogant, vengeful and reckless. For hundreds of years, Native American leaders from Massasoit, Tecumseh, and Tenskwatawa, to Major Ridge, Geronimo, and Fools Crow valiantly resisted expulsion from their lands and fought the extinction of their culture. Sometimes, their strategies were militaristic, but more often they were diplomatic, spiritual, legal and political.
Shows events that led to the conflict in 1877 between the Nez Perces and the U.S. Army. Chief Joseph led the 300 Nez Perce braves, their women and children in the historic running battle against ten separate commands of the Army.
Acompelling study of the Hopi that captures their deep spirituality and reveals their integration of art and daily life. Amidst beautiful images of Hopi land and life, a variety of Hopi--a farmer, a religious elder, grandmother, painter, potter and weaver--speak about the preservation of the Hopi way. Their philosophy of living in balance and harmony with nature is a model to the Western world of an environmental ethic in action.
Winona LaDuke focuses on Enbridge’s pipelines for fracked oil, it’s dangers and how the shale oil boom is adversely affecting Indian Country. She gathers musicians, young people and native leadership, puts them on horses, organizes in northern Minnesota lake communities and creates a movement.
Separate segments on the Onondaga of New York State, the Navajo of Arizona and adjacent states, and the Lummi of Washington State focus on sovereignty, internal politics, administration of justice, and relations with the U.S. government. N. Scott Momaday hosts this program which looks at these Native American nations and the challenges they face as they try to preserve their cultures.