Tribal Film Festival brings films, art to CN holiday
Steven Grounds (Navajo/Euche/Creek/Seminole) is a contemporary street artist. He performed live art at the Tribal Film Festival red carpet event on Sept. 2 at the NSU Jazz Lab during Cherokee National Holiday in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. JAMI MURPHY/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – For the second straight year, the Tribal Film Festival was held during the Cherokee National Holiday and included more than 30 Native American films. But this year on the Sept. 2 opening night, it included a Native Pop! art show.
“We had over 200 people walk through the door of the first party, not including the kids,” said event founder Celia Xavier. “Plus, I would say over two days, over eight-hour days, another 400 attendees. People came and went.”
Although the event featured the same caliber of movies and short films as in 2015, this year it included a live art show and sale by artist Brent Learned of Native Pop!. Learned (Cheyenne-Arapaho) is the director of Native Pop!, an art show that travels across the country featuring Native artists.
Learned said Xavier approached him at another Native Pop! event and told him she wanted him to be a part of the Tribal Film Festival.
“She goes ‘I’d like to have that part of the film festival.’ And we got to talking and I said ‘you know, art and film, that’s life that imitates reality,’ so she agreed to have it as another aspect of the film festival,” Learned said.
The show brought several artists to the Cherokee National Holiday, including Bunky Echo-Hawk, who performed a live painting, as well as Steven Paul Judd, Joe Hopkins and George Levi.
Learned said the film festival and art show continue the legacy of tribal ancestors in that it tells a story.
“By telling their story, but telling it in a modern, contemporary way, whether that be video through bright colors or just even in today’s society, just letting people know as Indigenous people we’re still here. We’re still telling a story of who we are and letting them know where our place is in society,” he said. “We’re not just in natural history museums or in history books to be studied…we’re here.”
Mark D. Williams, director and co-producer of the documentary “Shiloh,” said he was happy to be a part of the Tribal Film Festival. His documentary follows Shiloh LeBeau, who is half Navajo of the Hon’agha ‘ahnii Clan and half Sans Arch Lakota Sioux from the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, on her journey to the 2016 Ringside World Championship.
LeBeau said having the documentary made her realize she is reaching a wide audience.
“I am reaching an audience that is bigger than just my son, which is really the main reason why I do everything I do positively…for being a good role model for him. So having this opportunity is just, it’s incredible,” she said.
Xavier said the event brought together many Native nations, and that is what it’s about.
“We all have the same intention, which is to celebrate Indigenous people. To segregate and to say one tribe is better, we don’t do that. That’s not what we’re about,” she added. “We help each other escalate our message and our voice.”
Mary Aboud, Cherokee Nation citizen and festival co-director, said like with the Standing Rock protests where many tribal nations come together, she sees something similar happening with such festivals.
“That’s what we’re starting to see with these festivals – people coming in and celebrating each other’s culture and promoting each other’s culture,” Aboud said.
ᏓᎵᏆ, ᎣᎦᎵᎰᎹ. – ᎾᏍᎩ ᏔᎵᏁ ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗ, ᎾᎿ ᎠᏂᎳᏍᏓᏢ ᏧᎾᏟᎶᏍᏔᏅ ᎠᏍᏆᎵᏍᎬ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᎾᎵᎮᎵᎬ ᎠᏍᏆᎵᏍᎬᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏠᏯᏍᏗ ᎤᎪᏛ ᎾᏃ ᏦᏍᎪᎯ ᎠᏁᎯᏯ ᎠᎹᎵᎧ ᏧᎾᏟᎶᏍᏔᏅᎯ. ᎠᏎᏃ ᎯᎠ ᏧᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗ ᎾᎿ ᏚᎵᏍᏗ ᏔᎵᏁ ᎤᏒᎢ, ᎠᏠᏯᏍᏗ ᎡᎯᏯ Pop! ᏧᎾᏟᎶᏍᏔᏅ ᎬᏂᎨᏒ ᏂᏚᏅᏅᎢ.
“ᎤᎪᏛ ᎾᏃ ᏔᎵᏧᏈ ᏯᏂ ᎠᏂᏴᏫ ᎤᏂᎶᏒ ᎦᎶᎯᏍᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎢᎬᏱ ᎠᏍᏆᎵᏍᎬ, ᏂᏓᏠᏯᏍᏛᎾ ᏗᏂᏲᏟ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬ ᎠᏍᏆᎵᏍᎬ ᎤᏩᏛᏗ Celia Xavier. “ᎤᎪᏛ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏎ ᏔᎵᎭ ᏧᏙᏓᏆᏗ, ᎤᎶᏒᏍᏗ ᏧᏁᎳ ᎢᏳᏟᎶᏓ ᎤᏙᏓᏆᏗ, ᏐᎢᏃ ᏅᎩᏧᏈ ᎤᏁᏙᎸ. ᎠᏂᏴᏫ ᎠᏂᎷᎬ ᎠᎴ ᎠᎾᏂᎩᏍᎬᎢ.”
ᏙᎯᏳᏃ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏍᏆᎵᏍᎬ ᎤᏠᏯ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎠᏓᏴᎳᏛᏍᎩ ᎠᎴ ᏗᏍᏆᎳ ᏓᎾᏓᏴᎳᏗᏍᎪ ᎾᏍᎩᏯ ᏔᎵ ᏯᎦᏴᎵ ᏍᎩᎦᏚ ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒᎢ, ᎯᎠ ᏧᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗ ᎤᏠᏯᏍᏗ ᎾᎿ ᏓᎾᏟᎶᏍᏔᏅᎲᏍᎬ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏂᎾᏕᎬ ᎾᎿ ᏗᏟᎶᏍᏔᏅᎲᏍᎩ Brent Learned ᎠᏁᎯᏯ Pop!. Learned (Cheyenne—Arapaho) ᎾᏍᎩ ᏗᏎᎮᎵᏙ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏂᎯᏯ Pop!, ᎾᎿ ᏧᎾᏟᎶᏍᏔᏅᏅ ᎬᏂᎨᏒ ᎾᏅᏁᎰ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏁᏙᎵᏙᎰ ᏗᎬᏩᎾᏗᏫᏍᏗ ᏕᎦᏚᎲ ᎬᏂᎨᏒ ᏂᎬᏁᎰ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᎾᎾᏛᏁᎰ ᏗᎾᏟᎶᏍᏔᏅᎲᏍᎩ.
Learned ᎠᏗᏍᎬ Xavier ᎤᎷᏤᎸ ᎾᎿ ᏐᎢ ᎡᎯᏯ Pop! ᏓᏍᏆᎵᏍᎬ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏥᏃᎯᏎᎸ ᎠᎦᏚᎸᎡᎲ ᎤᏕᎳᏗᏍᏗ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏂᎳᏍᏓᏢ ᏧᎾᏓᏴᎳᏙᏗ ᏓᎾᏓᎪᏛᏗᏍᎬᎢ ᎠᏍᏆᎵᏍᎬᎢ.
“ᎤᏛᏅ ᏯᏆᏚᎵᏛ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏆᏖᎳᏗᏍᏗᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏧᎾᏟᎶᏍᏙᏗ ᏓᎾᏓᎪᏩᏛᏗᏍᎬᎢ.’ ᎠᎴ ᎣᏍᏓᏟᏃᎮᏍᎬ ᎣᎩᎾᎴᏅᎲ ᎠᎴ ᎯᎠ ᎾᎩᏪᏒ ᏣᏅᏔᏍ, ᏗᏟᎶᏍᏔᏅᏅ ᏥᎩ ᎠᎴ ᏧᎾᏓᏴᎳᏙᏗ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᎥᎬᏅ ᏓᏟᎶᏍᏗ ᎥᎴᏂᏙᎲᎢ,’ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎣᏏ ᎤᏰᎸᎸᏅᎾᎿ ᏐᎢ ᎤᏂᏍᏆᎸᎡᏗ ᎯᎠ ᏧᎾᏟᎶᏍᏔᏅ ᏧᎾᏓᎪᏩᏛᏙᏗᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬ Learned.
ᎯᎠ ᏓᎾᏓᏴᎳᏗᏍᎩ ᎤᏂᎷᏨ ᎢᎸᏍᎦ ᏯᏂ ᏗᎾᏟᎶᏍᏔᏅᎲᏍᎩ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᎤᎾᏕᏘᏰᏍᎬ ᎠᏍᏆᎵᏍᎬᎢ, ᎤᏂᎷᏨ ᎠᏠᏯᏍᏗ Bunky Echo-Hawk, ᎾᏍᎩ ᏚᏟᎶᏍᏔᏅᎢ, ᎤᏠᏯ ᎯᎠ Steven Paul Judd, Joe Hopkins ᎠᎴ George Levi.
ᎠᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᎯᎠ ᏧᎾᏓᏴᎳᏙᏗ ᏚᏃᏢᏅ ᎠᏂᎪᏕᏘᏍᎬ ᏂᎬᏱᎵᏐ ᏄᎾᏛᏁᎸ ᎠᏂᎳᏍᏓᏢ ᎪᎯᎦ ᏣᏁᎮᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎧᏃᎮᏍᎪ ᏄᎵᏍᏔᏅᎢ.
“ᎾᏍᎩ ᎧᏃᎮᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏂᏃᎮᏓ, ᎠᏎᏃ ᎧᏃᎮᏗ ᏃᏊ ᏥᎩ, ᎾᏞᎬ ᎾᏍᏊ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᏱᏚᎾᏟᎶᏍᏔᏅ ᎾᎿ ᏧᏍᎪᏍᏓ ᏧᎵᏑᏫᏓ ᎠᎴᏱᎩ ᎪᎯ ᎢᎦ ᏚᎾᏙᏢᏒᎢ, ᏙᏥᏃᎯᏎᎰ ᎠᏂᏴᏫ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏂᏴᏫᏯ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏂᏁᏉᎬ, Ꮟ ᎢᏕᎲᎢ. ᏏᏊ ᎢᏗᏃᎮᏍᎬᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎨᏒ ᎠᎴ ᎾᎿ ᎢᏕᎲᎢ ᎠᎭᏂ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ. “ᏝᏙ ᎾᎿ ᏴᏫ ᎤᏂᎪᏛᏗ ᎠᏞᎾᎥ ᎠᎴ ᏗᎪᏪᎵ ᏗᎪᎵᏱᏗ…..ᎣᏤᎭ.”
Mark D. Williams, ᎧᏁᏥᏙᎯ ᎠᎴ ᎤᎵᏍᏕᎸᏓ ᎤᏃᏢᏅ ᎧᏃᎮᏢᏍᎦ ᏚᏙᎥ “Shiloh,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬ ᎠᎵᎮᎵᎬ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎢᎬᏩᏛᏗ ᎨᏒ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏂᎳᏍᏓᏢ ᏗᎾᏓᏟᎶᏍᏗᏍᎩ ᎤᏂᏍᏆᎸᎡᎲᎢ. ᎤᏤᎵ ᎪᏪᎳᏅ ᎠᏍᏓᏩᏕᎦ Shiloh Lebeau, ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎠᏰᎵᏴ Navajo of the Hon’agha’ahnii ᎠᏂᎳᏍᏓᏢ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏰᏟ ᎢᏴ Sans Arch Lakota Sioux ᏂᏓᏳᏓᎴᏅ Cheyenne River Sioux ᎠᏂᎳᏍᏓᏢ, ᎾᎿ ᎠᎢᏒᎢ ᏩᎦᏛ ᏔᎵ ᏯᎦᏴᎵ ᏓᎳᏚ ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒ Ringside ᎡᎶᎯ ᏂᎬ ᏩᏃᏌᏂᏴᎢ.
LaBeau ᎠᏗᏍᎬ ᎤᎾᎥ ᎾᎿ ᎪᏪᎳᏅᏅᎢ ᎠᏆᏕᎶᎰᏒ ᎾᎿ ᎤᏂᎪᏓ ᎠᏂᏴᏫ ᎠᎾᎦᏎᏍᏗᏍᎬᎢ.
“ᎤᎾᏛᏓᏍᏗ ᎤᏂᎪᏓ ᏏᏅ ᎠᏊᏥ ᎠᏧᏣ, ᎾᏍᎦᏃᏙ ᏄᎬᏫᏳᏒ ᎢᏳᏰᎸᏗ ᏥᏂᎦᏛᏁᎰ ᏚᏳᎪᏛᎢ… ᎣᏍᏓ ᏂᏥᏛᏁᎰ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎢᏳᏱᎸᏗ. ᎯᎠ ᏣᏆᏞᏅᏓᏕᎰ ᎢᏯᏆᏛᏗ ᎤᎵᏍᎨᏓ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ
Xavier ᎢᎧᎬᎮᏍᎬ ᎯᎠ ᏥᏂᎦᎵᏍᏗ ᎢᎸᏍᎩ ᏅᏁᎯᏯ ᎠᏰᎵ ᏚᎾᎰᏢᏒ ᏌᏊ ᏄᎾᎵᏍᏔᏅᎢ, ᎠᎴ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎢᏳᏱᎸᏗ.
“ᏃᏥᎥ ᎤᏠᏯ ᏙᏧᎪᏛ, ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏗᎵᎮᎵᏤᏗ ᎾᏅᏁᏯ ᏴᏫ. ᎠᏓᏓᎸᏙᏗ ᏌᏊ ᎠᏂᎳᏍᏓᏢ, Ꮭ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏱᏂᏓᏛᏁᎰᎢ. ᏝᏃ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏱᏃᎦᏍᏗ,” ᎠᏠᏯᏍᏗᏍᎬᎢ.” ᏙᏣᏓᏍᏕᎵᏍᎪ ᎣᎩᏌᎳᏙᏗ ᎣᏥᏃᎮᏍᎬᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎣᏥᏁᎬᎢ.”
Mary Aboud, ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎨᎳ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏍᏆᎵᏍᎬ ᏔᎵᏁ ᏥᏁᏥᏙ, ᎠᏗᏍᎬ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏅᏯ ᏗᎦᏙᎬ ᎠᏂᏍᎦᎬ ᏄᎾᎵᏍᏓᏁᎵᏙᎲ ᎾᎿ ᎤᏂᎪᏓ ᎠᏂᎾᎳᏍᏓᏢ ᎠᏰᎵ ᏚᏙᏢᏒ ᎠᏂᎷᎦ ᏃᏊ ᎾᎾᎵᏍᏗᏍᎬᎢ, ᎠᎪᏩᏘ ᎤᏠᏯᏳᏍᏗ ᏂᎦᎵᏍᏔᏅᏍᎬ ᎾᏍᎩᏯᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᏓᏍᏆᎵᏍᎬ ᏂᎦᎵᏍᏔᏅᏍᎬ.
“ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᎣᏥᎪᏮᏔᎭ ᏂᎦᎵᏍᏔᏅᏍᎬ ᎯᎠ ᏓᏍᏆᎵᏍᎬᎢ- ᏴᏫ ᎠᏂᎷᎬ ᎠᎴ ᎠᎾᎵᎮᎵᎬᎢ ᏄᏍᏛ ᎢᏳᎾᏛᏁᎵᏓᏍᏗᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏂᏃᎮᏢᏍᎬ ᎢᏧᎾᏓᎴ ᎢᏳᎾᏛᏁᎵᏓᏍᏗᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ Aboud.