Upcoming (and Free) Screenings of Indigenous-Themed Films

Upcoming indigenous films, free and open to the public:

  • The Indian System: March 1 and March 28
  • Empire of Dirt: March 4
  • Awake: A Dream of Standing Rock: March 29
  • DAWNLAND: April 8 and 13

The Indian System

  • Premier on Friday, March 1, 7 p.m., The Schneider Theater, Bloomington Civic Plaza, 1800 West Old Shakopee Road, Bloomington
  • Thursday, March 28, on the University of Minnesota campus, Ralph Rapson Hall, 89 Church St. SE, Minneapolis, Room 100. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., film starts at 6 p.m.

A conversation with filmmaker Sheldon Wolfchild follows both screenings. Both events are free and open to the public.

According to promotional materials:

The Indian System uncovers the truth behind the War of 1862 in Minnesota. In this movie, Wolfchild portrays his grandfather, Medicine Bottle, to tell a Dakota oral history of the 1862 war, the hangings of the Dakota 38 Plus 2, and the removal of the Dakota from Minnesota.

During the 1850’s and throughout history, treaties were forced upon the Dakota people. Noted Minnesotans such as Henry H. Sibley and Alexander Ramsey manipulated the Dakota people to cheat them out of their supposed benefits, and ultimately their land. After the Dakota were removed to their reservation, corrupt agents and Indian department superintendents embezzled as much Dakota treaty money as they could.

Wolfchild is a member and former Tribal Chairman of the Lower Sioux Indian Tribe who has appeared in a number of feature films and television shows.

For more, see Wolfchild’s website: 38plus2productions.

Empire of Dirt

The American Indian Cultural House is hosting its 10th Annual American Indian Film Series event. The theme this year is, Healing: Journey to Recovery. The second film in our series is Empire of Dirt, which will be shown Monday March 4, at 6 p.m. (doors open at 5:30 p.m.) at Jones Hall Auditorium, 27 Pleasant Street SE, Minneapolis. The event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments served.

The Canadian Film Day website provides the following description:

When single mom Lena (Gee) realizes that her daughter may be in danger of succumbing to the same addiction issues she herself faced, she decides to leave the city with her and return home to her estranged mother (Podemski) in the rural community of her youth. The homecoming forces Lena to deal with her past and raises issues that test all three generations of this family of spirited women.

Awake: A Dream of Standing Rock

Augsburg Native American Film Series and Myron Dewey present Awake: A Dream from Standing Rock on Friday, March 29, at Augsburg University’s Sateren Auditorium, 2200 Music Hall, 715 22nd Ave. S., Minneapolis. Reception starts at 6:15 p.m. and the screening begins at 7 p.m. Discussion follows.
This event is free to the public.

According to promotional materials:

The film AWAKE, A Dream from Standing Rock captures the story of Native-led defiance that forever changed the fight for clean water, our environment and the future of our planet.” Myron Dewey (Newe-Numah/ Paiute-Shoshone from the Walker River Paiute Tribe, Agui Diccutta Band and Temoke Shoshone) — filmmaker, professor, historical trauma trainer and journalist — will present the film.

For more, click here.


DAWNLAND, a documentary about cultural survival and stolen children, will have two screenings in April:

  • Monday, April 8, 5-8 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 13, 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Both screenings will be held at the University of Minnesota-St. Paul campus’ Student Center Theatre, 2017 Buford Ave., St. Paul.

Both events are free and open to the public Appetizers and beverages will be served. Register for tickets here.

According to promotional materials:

For over 100 years, the United States government has systematically removed American Indian children from their homes and communities to be raised by white families. Recently, the first government-sanctioned child welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was formed in Maine. DAWNLAND documents Maine’s TRC journey, as it begins to address the devastating impact child welfare practices have had on the Wabanaki Confederacy, and searches for justice and healing. See dawnland.org for more information.

Sandy Whitehawk (Sicangu Lakota) will facilitate a discussion following the film. Sandy played an integral part of the TRC work in Maine and continues to support reconciliation efforts around the country, including Minnesota.

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