Several weeks ago I received a call from Native American Public Telecommunicationsinviting me to attend the Media for Change workshop. The name alone was appealing, but then I learned it would be during Indian Market in Santa Fe. Would I want to join them? Hmmm…. Santa Fe during Indian Market, an event displaying fantastic Native ingenuity and creativity in art, film and music; a meeting to talk about how film can be used in education to inspire reflection and action among students. Hard decision…. Not. I wouldn’t miss it.
It was great to be able to put NAPT faces to voices and email relationships, to reconnect with filmmakers and educators who I have worked with, and to meet new people working in this field. I learned about NAPT films, education resources and upcoming projects. The conversation was free-flowing and stimulating.
During the morning we discussed how NAPT’s film-related education materials and the education section of their website might be enhanced. Filmmakers, college and high school educators and others working with film and Native American education initiatives shared ideas about how to make these incredible resources more accessible and better for users.
At the meeting was a high school educator who plans to screen some of the NAPT films in her classroom this year. I am looking forward to hearing how she presents the filmApache 8 to her class and how she uses the lesson plan guide I created to help inspire her students to reflect upon their own lives and actions. This will give me feedback on the work I did, always a challenge to get when creating education guides.
In the afternoon, I met filmmakers and heard about their projects. In my hand is a new film by Daniel Golding, Songs of the Colorado, exploring how cultural traditions are passed on through language and songs and how cultural knowledge is stored within these traditions. We spoke about having singers of this tradition perform at the Arizona State Museum’s Southwest Indian Art Fair in February. Perhaps we’ll screen the film at ASM’s annual Native Eyes Film Showcase as we did his wonderful film about Waila music.
At the meeting I also heard about teaching resources from PBS and inspiring campaigns led by Working Films linking film messages to social action in communities. I learned about involving teens in creating campaigns to bring awareness to issues, and how to evaluate success of social action initiatives.
It was an inspiring workshop whose information and ideas will weave through my thoughts as I plan and design programs for the Arizona State Museum. I look forward to staying in conversation with the other participants and hope our ideas help NAPT boost the impact of their insightful films in communities across the world.
Lisa Falk is director of education at Arizona State Museum and this blog’s editor. With Vicky Westover of the Hanson Film Institute she co-produces the annual Native Eyes Film Showcase, and she curates the performance programs for ASM’s annual Southwest Indian Art Fair. Native American Public Telecommunications is an organization dedicated to educational and public telecommunications programs and services by and for American Indians supporting tribal sovereignty.