Indigenous Peoples Day Event: “Guswenta: Renewing the Two Row Wampum”

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Tonya Gonnella Frichner, featured on right, Onondaga (laywer, activist, professor of American Indian Law and International Human Rights Law and President/Founder of the American Indian Law Alliance of New York and New Jersey.

Gwendolen Cates, featured on far left side, Filmmaker and producer of “Guswenta” (documentary, 33 minutes)

Film Screening Event at the New School @ New York City, sponsored by the Environmental Studies Program and Global Studies Program at the New School

October 13, 2014 “Indigenous Peoples Day”

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Fantastic overview of the event of the 400 year anniversary of the Two Row Wampum treaty between the Dutch and the Haudenosaunee (“People of the Longhouse”) in 2013 when the canoe journey from Onondaga in central upstate New York to the city of New York to the shore of the United Nations to bring the original message of peace and partnership as brothers “together side by side in the river of life, each not in the way of the other or their governance.” It is the first treaty, signified by the wampum belt and a living record of the event, made with the indigenous peoples of this East Coast region with the European settlers in 1613. Many other treaties followed, in similar fashion with other governments such as the French, British, Spanish, and, of course, the United States.

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The government of the Haudenosaunee, otherwise known as the Six Nations (Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca, and Tuscarora), is one the longest standing participatory democracies in the world and the blueprint of the government of the United States of America respected and observed by men like Benjamin Franklin and George Washington. The Treaty of Canandaigua, between the Haudenosaunee and the United States, in 1794 was commissioned by George Washington to memorialize the treaty in wampum as part of the “Peace and Friendship” treaties. The message is that it is time to recognize that relationship of sovereign brotherhood and respect with both Indigenous and European Americans, as well as to honoring the Earth and taking responsibility to take care of it again, to restore both peace and friendship.

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Native Tribal Scholars Native Literature Teacher Angelo Baca to screen new documentary at American Indian Film Festival 2013

Angelo Baca, last summer’s Native Tribal Scholars Native Literature teacher, is going to screen his newest documentary collaboration “Into America: The Ancestor’s Land” at the 2013 American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco, California on Tuesday, November 5, 2013 at noon, Delancey Street Theatre. The film is directed by Nadine Zacharias and is produced by Film Academy Baden-Wuerttemberg in Germany.

Into America – The Ancestors Land
Director: Nadine Zacharias
Documentary Feature • 84m • Germany

SYNOPSIS:

An extraordinary couple embarks on a journey INTO the heart of AMERICA starting in the water metropolis of Seattle and heading for THE sacred ANCESTORS’ LAND on the arid Navajo Reservation. Showing a dramatic family portrait of a loving grandmother, Helen Yellowman – an enchanting traditional Navajo storyteller who refuses to speak English – and her adult grandson, Angelo Baca – a young academic who commutes between the two worlds, this road trip reveals an unknown America. As both navigate through America’s contradictions, nonetheless celebrating their strong connection to the homeland, it gradually comes to light: the Ancestors’ Lands are being desecrated.

Thank you to the Native Tribal Scholars program for their support and encouragement with filmmaking and education. I hope that I will get to screen this for the NTS students next year or sometime during this school year to bring the story to their community and educate ourselves as well as others. Thank you to all my native family, friends, loved ones, and of course, my Navajo people.

Sincerely,

Angelo Baca

The American Indian Film Festival’s Website listing is here: http://festival.aifisf.com/program/into-america-the-ancestors-land-2/

The Film’s website blog is here: http://intoamericafilm.wordpress.com/