Vision Maker Media (VMM)
'Trudell' by Producer and Director Heather Rae (Cherokee) is one of four free streaming films this December as part of Vision Maker Media's 40 year anniversary.

Vision Maker Media: 4 Native Films Streaming Free in December

Lisa J. Ellwood

A collection of 40 Native films originally featured on PBS are streaming in celebration of Vision Maker Media's 40th anniversary. The screenings began November 1, and will end August 7, 2017, with a different film scheduled to be screened each week on and

The following titles are scheduled for December:  

December 6: Trudell

Trudell - courtesy VMM

Producer/Director: Heather Rae (Cherokee)

“The engaging life story of Native American poet/prophet/activist John Trudell and his heartfelt message of active, personal responsibility to the earth, all of its inhabitants and our descendants.

Native American activist and poet John Trudell fuses his radical politics with music, writing and art. Combining images and archival footage with interviews and performances, this biography reveals the philosophy and motivations behind Trudell's work and his relationship to contemporary Indian history..” - VMM

YouTube Trailer: 

December 13: XIT: Without Reservations

XIT - DVD image /

“In 1970, a young American Indian rock back burst upon the music scene. They carried a message of unity, hope, and truth to Indian people across America. Their lyrics brought to the surface the injustice that had been and continues to be inflicted upon Native America. They not only brought rock and roll to Indian people, they brought Indian consciousness to the world through rock and roll.” - NativeFlix

In 2002 the originators of AIM-inspired Native American Rock and Roll (on the Motown label) reunited for a 30th anniversary concert. This is the DVD of that performance.

December 20: Native American Night Before Christmas / Twelve Days of Native Christmas

Native American Night Before Christmas / Twelve Days of Native Christmas - Courtesy VMM

Writer and Director: Gary Robinson (Cherokee and Choctaw)

Illustrator: Jesse T. Hummingbird (Cherokee)

Two whimsical retellings of yuletide classics: the poem The Night Before Christmas and the yuletide song The Twelve Days of Christmas. Both short-form collaborations were adapted to a Native American perspective and illustrated by one of Indian Country’s greatest artists; with twelve different tribes represented in the lyrics and images of the latter.

YouTube Trailer: 

December 27: Harold of Orange

Harold of Orange - Images courtesy VMM

Writer: Gerald Vizenor (Chippewa)

“This comedy explores the interaction of two cultural groups indigenous to Minnesota-- American Indians and philanthropic foundations. Poet Gerald Vizenor's screenplay draws on trickster myths common to many Indian tribes to create a contemporary satire which dispels many Hollywood stereotypes. The story involves trickster Harold and his scheme to obtain corporate funding for a chain of coffeehouses featuring reservation-grown "pinch bean" coffee. Stars Charlie Hill (Oneida).” - VMM

YouTube Trailer: 

40 Years, Films, Weeks Poster courtesy VMM

Vision Maker Media is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) empowering and engaging Native People to tell our own stories our way. VMM's Public Media Content Fund awards support to projects with a Native American theme and significant Native involvement that ultimately benefits the entire public media community with funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). More than $500,000 in production contracts are awarded annually to independent producers and public television stations to produce programming by and about Native Americans for use by PBS stations. Funding can be for production, completion, or research & development. Please visit for more information.

The American Archive of Public Broadcasting preserves and makes significant historical content created by public media accessible. It also coordinates a national effort to save at-risk public media before its content is lost to posterity. More information is available via


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