Free screenings of THE CHEROKEE WORD FOR WATER and STANDING BEAR'S FOOTSTEPS, part of the 2015 Great Plains Symposium.
Both screenings are free and open to the public. You do not need to be registered for the symposium to attend.
Follow the link for more information on the 2015 Great Plains Symposium.
THE CHEROKEE WORD FOR WATER
Thursday, May 14 - 1:00 p.m.
Lead actor in the film, Moses Brings Plenty, will have a talk balk after the film.
The Cherokee Word For Water is inspired by the true story of the struggle for, opposition to, and ultimate success of a rural Cherokee community to bring running water to their families by using the traditional concept of “gadugi “– working together to solve a problem.
Set in the early 1980s, The Cherokee Word For Water begins with the return of Wilma Mankiller to her rural Oklahoma Cherokee community where many houses lack running water and others are little more than shacks. After centuries of being dehumanized and dispossessed of their land and identity, the people no longer feel they have power or control over their lives or future.
Based on the true story of the Bell Waterline Project, the movie is about a community coming together to improve its life condition. Led by Mankiller, who went on to become the first woman chief of the Cherokee Nation, and fullblood Cherokee organizer Charlie Soap, they join forces and build nearly twenty miles of waterline using a community of volunteers. In the process, they inspire the community to trust each other, and reawaken universal indigenous values of reciprocity and interconnectedness. The successful completion of the waterline sparked a movement of similar self-help projects across the Cherokee nation and in Indian country that continues to this day.
STANDING BEAR’S FOOTSTEPS
Thursday, May 14 - 3:00 p.m.
The post-movie talk back will feature Joe Starita and Chistine Lesiak.
Standing Bear’s Footsteps tells the story of the Ponca Nation’s exile from Nebraska to the malaria-infested plains of Indian Territory in present-day Oklahoma. After the banishment, to honor his dying son’s last wish to be buried in his homeland, Chief Standing Bear and his small clan set-off on a frigid, six-hundred-mile journey back to their former home. En-route, they were arrested and imprisoned at Fort Omaha for leaving the Reservation. Standing Bear and his starving band were about to be sent back to “death country” when a remarkable series of events unfolded.
A reporter from the Omaha Daily Herald broke the story and Standing Bear was suddenly at the center of a storm of controversy. Though he spoke no English, the Chief’s eloquence attracted powerful allies—including the famous army general who had arrested him. If he could prove he was a person in the eyes of the law, Standing Bear could return to his Nebraska homeland. In May of 1879, Standing Bear sued the U.S. government for his freedom. His courtroom trial ended with a plea directly to the judge: “My hand is not the same color as yours. If I pierce it, I shall feel pain. If you pierce your hand, you too will feel pain. The blood that flows will be the same color. I am a man. The same God made us both.”
This documentary interweaves storytellers, re-creations and present-day scenes to explore a little-known chapter in American history. “The film has much to say about present-day issues of human rights and what it means to be an American," NET Television Producer and Director Christine Lesiak said. "I was amazed to learn that the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution granted citizenship to anyone born in the United States—except the Indians. And it wasn’t until 1924 that Native Americans were actually granted citizenship. This whole debate started with a father who wanted only to keep a promise.”