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Off-Campus Streaming Guide

Use this guide to find streaming alternatives to Media Services DVDs.

Indigenous Peoples of America

Titles Available as of November 2020

This is a selective list of streaming video holdings in the American University Library. Streaming guides are created by doing multiple keyword searches in the library catalog to capture as many titles on a topic as possible. For complete up-to-date streaming holdings, please refer to our streaming catalog.

The American Indian: How He Earns a Living

American Outrage

Documentary of the 35-year fight of Carrie Dann and Mary Dann against the U.S. government's attempts to take over traditional Shoshone land in Nevada, part of 60 million acres guaranteed to them in the 1863 Treaty of Ruby Valley.

Awake, A Dream From Standing Rock

Record of the massive peaceful resistance led by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to the Dakota Access Pipeline through their land and underneath the Missouri River.

Coming to Light: Edward S. Curtis and the North American Indians

Edward S. Curtis was a driven, pioneer photographer who set out in 1900 to document traditional Indian life. He became the most famous photographer of his time and created an enormous body of work. This film tells the dramatic story of Curtis' life, his work, and his changing views of the people he set out to document. 

Drumbeat for Mother Earth

Argues that persistent toxic chemicals, such as PCBs, DDT, and dioxin, are possibly the greatest threat to the long-term survival of indigenous peoples, including Native Americans. Explores how these chemicals contaminate the traditional food web, violate treaty rights, travel long distances, and are passed from one generation to the next during pregnancy.

Earl’s Canoe

Follows the entire construction of a traditional Ojibwe birchbark canoe from choosing the tree on Madeleine Island to the launching of the finished craft. Master craftsman Nyholm and his helpers comment throughout, stressing the respect due to the materials and the process.

The Exiles

An account of the problems encountered by Native Americans living in urban areas and caught between two conflicting cultures, as shown by footage of 12 hours in the lives of a group living in Los Angeles.

Family and Culture in a Native American Young Woman

Dr. Winona F. Simms talks with a young Native American woman as she gets ready to go off to college. She is the oldest of 3 children and has a close relationship with her family. When she has had problems in the past, she's immersed herself in her school work as an escape, and as a result, is a very good student. She has concerns about how she and her family will adjust to her being away from home for the first time. Dr. Simms offers examples of how her Native American heritage and culture can help her in her transition and encourages her to seek out Native American groups at her school or the campus counseling center if she needs help. 

A Frontier Conversation

A "Frontier conversation" documents a unique collaboration between indigenous and white historians from Australia and North America. In September 2004, a diverse group travelled through the top end of Australia meeting representatives of the traditional landowners, and engaging in a dialogue about indigenous history. The themes that emerged raised more questions than answers; from cultural appropriation and copyright, to land rights, the role of language and art, and what history means to indigenous communities in the current climate of cultural reclamation and survival. The film asks some difficult questions, such as how valuable can histories written by outsiders to any community be? What are the responsibilities of the historian, indigenous or not, to the people whose stories he or she attempts to tell.  

Homeland: Four Portraits of Native Action

Tells the story of four battles in which Native American activists are fighting to preserve their land and culture. 

In The Light of Reverence

Across the United States, Native Americans are struggling to protect their sacred places. Religious freedom, so valued in America, is not guaranteed to those who practice land-based religions. Devils Tower in Wyoming is sacred to the Lakota, who perform sun dances and vision quests nearby. In this film the Lakota struggle to protect their sacred site from climbers and other encroachers.

Inaugurating the National Indian Memorial 

Events of February 22, 1913, inauguration of National American Indian Memorial in Fort Wadsworth, New York. Shows U.S. government officials addressing Indians and ground breaking ceremony with Pres. William Howard Taft and Indian leaders. 

Indigenous Ways of Knowing  

David Begay, Adjunct Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Northern Arizona University and Nancy Maryboy, President and Founder of Indigenous Education Institute, Santa Fe, New Mexico invite us to understand Navajo ways of knowing. They describe a worldview that is place-based, emphasizes kinship and connection, and intimately orients the human within an interrelated and unified cosmos. 

Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance

On a hot July day in 1990, an historic confrontation propelled Native issues in Kanehsatake and the village of Oka, Québec, into the international spotlight and into the Canadian conscience. A powerful feature-documentary emerges that takes you right into the action of an age-old aboriginal struggle. The result is a portrait of the people behind the barricades, providing insight into the Mohawks' unyelding determination to protect their land.

Making a Difference

In many indigenous cultures one question keeps demanding attention: Can we survive in the modern world and should we? This film takes a closer look into this question from the viewpoint of four different indigenous peoples.  

Native-American History

Explore the fascinating history of the Native American people. Follow their history from migration to the Americas, to the development of civilizations throughout the American continent. Discover how every part of America was flourishing long before European settlers arrived. See the impact of early Native Americans in North and South America. Discover the 'Cochise Effect' on the cultures of Arizona and Mexico.  

Native-American History: Native American Influence on the US

Discover the fascinating ways in which the U.S. was profoundly affected by the native cultures that were here thousands of years before the Europeans. Explore the ways in which our government, economy, agriculture, medicine, language & legal system are still influenced by Native American contributions. Explore your first impressions of the world 'Indian.' Discover Native American contributions to medicine, agriculture & the environment. 

Native American Religions

In this program, Dennis Wholey has a conversation about Native American religions with Suzan Shown Harjo, executive director of The Morning Star Institute in Washington, D.C. Topics of discussion include the American Indian Religious Freedom Act of 1978; some common aspects of the approximately 300 remaining Native American religions being practiced in the U.S. today; the concepts of a supreme being and associated sacred beings as they exist in Native American culture; the prophecies of the Cheyenne prophet Sweet Medicine and the historical impact of North America's settlers on the land's indigenous peoples; and the pressing need for all Americans, non-native and native alike, to create a better future together. 

No More Smoke Signals

Kili Radio, the "Voice of the Lakota Nation," is broadcast out of a small wooden house in the vast countryside of South Dakota. There, people converge to speak to the community about daily concerns and in doing so, strengthen their sense of identity. Daily existence on America's poorest reservation is hard. 

Our Fires Still Burn

This exciting and compelling one hour documentary invites viewers into the lives of contemporary Native American role models living in the U.S. Midwest. It dispels the myth that American Indians have disappeared from the American horizon, and reveals how they continue to persist, heal from the past, confront the challenges of today, keep their culture alive, and make great contributions to society. 

Return: Native American Women Reclaim Foodways for Health & Spirit 

RETURN features charismatic Roxanne Swentzell from Santa Clara Pueblo in New Mexico whose efforts to reclaim ancient foodways are echoed across the continent by Tlingit, Muckleshoot, Oglala Sioux, Menominee, and Seneca women. At its heart this film is about empowering people to overcome their current circumstances through eating as their ancestors did - nutritiously and locally. RETURN offers an approach to confronting the diabetes epidemic now rampant in Native American communities. 

Rhymes for Young Ghouls

Red Crow Mi'gMaq reservation, 1976: by government decree, every Indian child under the age of 16 must attend residential school. In the kingdom of the Crow, that means imprisonment at St. Dymphna’s. That means being at the mercy of “Popper,” the sadistic Indian agent who runs the school. 

Searching for a Native American Identity

This program features the late Michael Dorris and Louise Erdrich, a husband-and-wife team who collaborated as writers before his untimely death. They attribute their beliefs in family, community, and place to their Native American heritage: she is half Chippewa, he is half Modoc. As Native Americans, their writing reflects the difficulties of American Indians today. In this program with Bill Moyers, Erdrich and Dorris discuss faith and the search for a Native American identity in a pluralistic society. 

Seasons of a Navajo

This classic anthropological study of a traditional Navajo family, the Neboyias, examines their lifestyle through the four seasons as they travel to each of their hogans-planting, sheepherding, harvesting, and weaving. The documentarist's style is natural and unobtrusive, allowing viewers to share in the Navajo world vision. Filmed in the Monument Valley, Canyon de Chelly, and Window Rock areas of Arizona.

Spirits for Sale: The Commercialization of American India Rituals

Western spiritualists often seek enlightenment through indigenous religions once practiced in different regions around the world. Native American rituals are especially popular, and Europeans stage ceremonies based on American Indian beliefs for which they charge admission. America's original people are not pleased with this development, for they regard this practice as the exploitation of their heritage. They see these performances as "pay to pray" ceremonies with imposters playing the rolls of American natives. Beautifully crafted and filmed, Spirits for Sale explores both sides of an unlikely dispute between native peoples and present-day interpreters of their rituals.