Beyond Recognition: Indigenous Activism
Corrina Gould is the cofounder of Indian People Organizing for Change and of the Sogorea Te Land Trust, an urban Indigenous women’s community organization working to return land to Indigenous stewardship in the East Bay.
Margherita Ghetti holds a PhD in Italian studies from UC Berkeley. She is a film curatorial intern at BAMPFA and works as a programmer for several Bay Area film festivals.
Sarah Whitt (Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma) is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley, where she researches intersecting histories of American Indian medical incarceration and boarding school experiences in the early twentieth century.
Hertha D. Sweet Wong, professor of English and associate dean of arts and humanities at UC Berkeley, teaches and writes about indigenous literatures. Her books include Sending My Heart Back Across the Years: Tradition and Innovation in Native American Autobiography.
Indigenous activism comes in many forms: survival, continuance or regeneration of cultural practices, political protest, legal actions, and creative interventions in writing and art making, to name a few. The ironically titled Home of the Brave, a four-minute history of conquest and subjugation of Native people, offers a searing critique of settler colonialism. Made forty years after the occupation and drawing on archival materials, the experimental film lay claim to an island commemorates the 1969 American Indian takeover of Alcatraz Island. As Long as the Rivers Run, another ironic phrase referring to a treaty assuring indigenous people of their fishing rights “as long as the rivers run,” documents a Nasqually transgenerational family’s struggle to ensure those rights are honored. The documentary Beyond Recognition models an alternative activism. Rather than working through the courts to gain federal tribal recognition, these Bay Area Ohlone activists organize to buy and conserve land for indigenous people to live freely.
—Hertha D. Sweet Wong
Films in this Screening
Home of the Brave
Michael Bloebaum, United States, 1968
lay claim to an island
Chris Kennedy, United States, 2009
As Long as the Rivers Run
Carol M. Burns, Survival of the American Indian Association, United States, 1971
Michelle Grace Steinberg, United States, 2014