Josée Bourgeois is an Algonquin life-giving woman who is a part of a very important generation dedicated to the preservation and sustainability of her people. She is a Fancy Shawl dancer and a Jingle Dress dancer, who is very passionate about representing her people, the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation in the Ottawa Valley, and her culture.
Josée discusses her father’s existence as part of the 60’s Scoop when 20,000 Canadian Indigenous children were placed in foster homes or put up for adoption. This and an early introduction to powwow’s helped shape Josee’s mission to connect with her culture. And this ultimately became a reason why she dances. 2019. 11 minutes
For centuries, dancing was part of virtually every aspect of Native American life. Although outlawed at times by the U.S. government and performed out of context for Wild West shows, dancing now unifies tribal nations and preserves Indian heritage. This documentary explores the dynamics of competition dancing—its artistry, origins, and meanings, as well as the clash between progress and tradition that marks the contest powwow. Filmed at Crow Fair in Montana, the program was produced by the Oneida Indian Nation and aired on broadcast television. A general history of Native American issues is included. 2010. 46 minutes
This poignant collage features members of the Oglala Lakota Sioux living on and off the Pine Ridge reservation who present their unself-pitying yet pointed observations on Lakota history and modern-day Lakota life. Their creation myth and their attitudes toward Mother Earth and the concept of time contribute insights into their worldview, while footage of a major powwow and a tepee-raising offer glimpses of the people’s cultural heritage. Wounded Knee and the extermination of the buffalo are discussed. Gang violence, alcoholism, lack of employment, and housing and health problems are also addressed, as well as the many faces of subjugation. 1999. 51 minutes
For the nearly two million Native Americans, representing 500 Indian nations, life in the U.S. today is a frustrating struggle to retain their ancient ways while functioning in the modern world, to carve out an identity in an overwhelmingly non-Indian culture. This program examines the needs and problems of today’s Native Americans, both those who live on the reservation and those who have chosen the mainstream. The conclusion focuses on celebration and survival as reflected in the continuing tradition of the Powwow. 1989. 49 minutes