Program 6

  • AMC Van Ness 14 1000 Van Ness Avenue San Francisco, CA, 94109 United States


DIRECTOR: Tracy Rector, Lou Karsen



Long ago a maiden named Ko-kwahl-alwoot risked her life to save the Samish people from starvation. She did so by agreeing to marry a man of the sea, who threatened to take the plentiful sea-life away from the area if she did not. Her reluctant father demanded that Ko-kwahl-alwoot return annually. But, after about four years of visits, it became increasingly difficult for her to return to the village. And so, today, Ko-kwahl-alwoot lives eternally underwater. The documentary The Maiden of Deception Pass: Guardian of Her Samish People tells her story and how tribal history inspires generations of Samish people.



DIRECTOR: Liz Irons, True Archdale, Kelli R. Clark


Filmmakers In-Attendance


A compelling and stylistic documentary, filmed on the remote plains of the Fort Peck Assiniboine & Sioux Indian Reservation in Northeastern Montana, thrusts upon you the most intimate perspectives of Assiniboine tribal members as they reveal a rich weaving of voices defining their personal definition of cultural knowledge, passion and concern for their tribe and its existence into the future.

A dream that became a mission drove narrator TRUE ARCHDALE to return to Wolf Point after living in Los Angeles for three decades. It is here during her childhood and adolescent years where the foundation of her cultural identity was formed. Reinforced by the teachings of her Assiniboine grandparents who raised her to adulthood and relatives who interacted with her family, this foundation demanded renewal after the narrator’s long absence. TRUE’S vision was satisfied by returning to the reservation with the goal of capturing important personal and cultural stories of various generations who spoke of the demands and imposed concepts of success in modern day reservation life. 

Critical stories are shared that indicate unique adaptations of cultural mores enabling the strengthening of cultural identity rather than its destruction. Stories that should not be lost but rather serve as a tool of empowerment for future generations.

Powerful scenery and a uniquely composed soundtrack inspires viewers to take a deeper look at our collective connection to the Earth. Wolf Point, Red Road Stories gives a glimpse into the complex nature and perseverance of the Assiniboine people who after thousands of years hold close their cultural identity to pass it forward into future generations while spiritually prospering in today’s world.


DIRECTOR: Vasant Samudre Salcedo, Sarah Samudre Salcedo


Filmmakers In-Attendance


Promised Land is a social justice documentary that follows two tribes in the Pacific Northwest: the Duwamish and the Chinook, as they fight for the restoration of treaty rights they've long been denied. In following their story, the film examines a larger problem in the way that the government and society still looks at tribal sovereignty.

Indigenous recognition is at the frontline of the battle for native sovereignty. These tribes—who signed treaties, helped settlers, and lost their land—are asking for their treaties to be honored. To redefine their recognition, to put blood quantum restrictions on who is and isn’t native enough, to redefine treaties over and over, continues a toxic cycle of colonialism where the government, and the corporations it partners with, continues to unlawfully profit off of the resources of indigenous lands at great peril to our increasingly climate-challenged world.

The Northwest is arguably one of the most politically liberal regions in the country. The names of our cities and towns are in Chinuk Wawa and Lushootseed, the region’s native languages. Seattle’s logo is an image of Chief Si’ahl. If in this area, with these tribes that all kids learn about growing up in school, justice can’t be found, then how does that bode for the rest of the country? This film uses the region to spark a discussion about identity and sovereignty, but the message about whose land we inhabit and how we work to right these wrongs is universal.


DIRECTOR: Maria Girouard, Meredith DeFrancesco



THE PENOBSCOT: Ancestral River, Contested Territory traverses the landscape of deal-making and deal-breaking that has largely defined tribal-state relations in Maine. From the 1700's to the present-day, the film emphasizes the Penobscot people’s centuries-long tradition of environmental stewardship, and outlines the current legal battle, PENOBSCOT NATION v. MILLS, which is a move to preserve Penobscot territory and maintain the inherent, treaty-reserved sustenance fishing rights of the Penobscot people in the Penobscot River. It tells the urgent story of an enduring struggle for justice and cultural survival in the face of an astonishingly open abuse of state power.

November 6
Program 5
November 7
Program 7