Amásání (The Grandmother)
DIRECTOR: Stacy Howard
LIVE SHORT • 14 minutes • USA
When 8 year-old Riley gets suspended from grade school, her mother sends her to stay with her Navajo-speaking grandmother on the reservation. When she arrives at her grandmother’s home, Riley is not interested in her grandmother’s traditional way of life, and doesn’t respond when her grandmother asks her to speak in Navajo. As time goes by, Riley’s grandmother teaches her about right from wrong, about respecting her mother and the Navajo way of life. Her way of teaching opens up Riley’s heart, and the little girl confides in her grandmother that she is being bullied at school for being half Navajo. With her grandmother’s gentle guidance, Riley gains confidence in her Diné roots.
FIRST DAUGHTER AND THE BLACK SNAKE
DIRECTOR: Keri Pickett
DOCUMENTARY FEATURE • 1 hour 34 minutes • USA
The “Prophecy of the 7th Fire” says a “black snake” will bring destruction to the earth. We will have a choice of two paths. One is scorched, and one is green. For Winona (Ojibwe for “first daughter”), the “black snake” is oil trains and pipelines. When she learns that Canadian-owned Enbridge plans to route a new pipeline through her tribe’s 1855 Treaty land, she and her community spring into action to save the sacred wild rice lakes and preserve their traditional indigenous way of life. Following her decision to fight Enbridge, Winona dreams that she is riding her horse against the current of the oil. Launching an annual spiritual horse ride along the proposed pipeline route, speaking at community meetings and regulatory hearings. Winona testifies that the pipeline route follows one of historical and present-day trauma. The tribe participates in the pipeline permitting process, asserting their treaty rights to protect their natural resources. Winona is a daughter, mother, granny, and Executive Director of Honor the Earth, a native-led environmental justice organization. Winona’s mother, Betty, explains about she met Winona’s father, Sun Bear, and his traditional life of hunting, fishing, and gathering on Minnesota’s White Earth reservation. Tapping trees for syrup, harvesting the wild rice, sewing a jingle dress, defending the treaties, and tending her horses—Winona is living by her father’s values. Winona and her son travel to Michigan on a tar sands resistance tour to an area “downwind” of Marathon’s tar sands oil refinery. Emma Lockridge and other activists reveal the health impact of living next to Marathon Petroleum in an area known as the “Sacrifice Zone.” Winona joins with her tribe and others to demand that the pipelines’ impact on tribal people’s resources be considered in the permitting process. Winona, her community, and Emma bring their climate change concerns to Marathon Petroleum headquarters in Ohio, demonstrating with spotlights, bullhorn, drums, and song. The colorful corn harvest provides food for the family’s Thanksgiving dinner. Winona’s passion for sustainable food and energy sources follow the green path as she, her family, and community work for sustainable food and energy in order to keep the black snake in the ground. Following the competition of the 4th annual ride against the current of oil, Enbridge announces the cancellation of the Sandpiper pipeline, investing in the Dakota Access pipeline instead. Enbridge still plans to put a new Line 3 through the same wild rice tribal territory.