Poster for Nov. 2019 First Nations Film Series

Yager Museum to Host First Nations Film Series in November

October 31, 2019

The Yager Museum of Art & Culture will host a First Nations Film Series during November to mark Indigenous Peoples Heritage Month, screening films by and about Indigenous peoples of North America. The three films highlight different aspects of contemporary Indigenous politics and culture and emphasize the continuing persistence, complexity, and vibrancy of Native people. These film screenings are free and open to the public.

The first film, “Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World,” reveals the forgotten story of the impact of Indigenous people on 20th century popular music. The title comes from the influential 1958 instrumental surf song “Rumble” by Link Wray, who was himself Shawnee. The film profiles other prominent Indigenous musicians, including Charlie Patton, Mildred Bailey, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Jimi Hendrix, and more. It also features interviews with prominent musicians and scholars to paint a picture of strong Native influence on popular music. “Rumble” will be screened at the Museum on Wednesday, November 6 at 6 p.m.

The second film, “Makwa Jiimaan: Deep Water Deep Roots,” follows the story of six Teme-Augama Anishnabai youth as they learn how to build a birch bark canoe in traditional fashion. The film is set in Bear Island, Ontario, home of the Teme-Augama First Nation and also the focus of the Museum’s current exhibit, Silent Lakes and Flashing Rivers: Fishing Cultures in Temagami. The film is directed by award-winning filmmaker Derrick LaMere, a member of the Confederated tribes of Colville Dere Lamere. He uses the building of a canoe to ruminate on how land and culture hold together the past, present, and the future. “Makwa Jiimaan” will be shown at on Wednesday, November 13 at 6 p.m.

The series concludes with a screening of “A Good Day to Die,” which tells the story of the American Indian Movement (AIM) through the life of Dennis Banks, one of its co-founders and most prominent organizers. Banks, who died in 2017, was a member of the Leech Lake Band of the Ojibwe, and organized AIM in 1969 to provide a political and social organization to represent largely urban Indigenous people. AIM’s efforts broadened to include issues of pan-Native civil rights, and the film shows the arc of AIMs growth through Banks’ stewardship. The film will be shown on Tuesday, November 19 at 6 p.m.

“The Yager Museum has a long history of bringing Indigenous voices and issues to Hartwick College and the community of Oneonta,” said Dr. Quentin Lewis, the Museum’s collections and programs manager. “These films highlight the continued resilience of Native communities in North America across an array of political, social, and cultural domains, and we are proud to screen them here.”

The Yager Museum’s galleries will be open during the screenings, and visitors can explore its current exhibits, including Earth Water Sky: Landscapes from the Yager Museum; Silent Lakes and Flashing Rivers; Of Time and the River: 12,000 Years in the Upper Susquehanna Region; From Viking to Insight: Henry Cooper and the Quest for Life on Mars; Art/Politics: Power, Propaganda, and Persuasion; Sculptures in Silver: America’s Standing Liberty Quarters, 1916-1931; and Masterpieces of European and American Art: The Hartwick College Art Treasure Room.

The Museum is open Tuesday-Saturday, 11:30 am to 4:30 p.m. when the College is in session.

For more information on the Yager Museum and these exhibitions, visit the museum’s website or Facebook page, call 607-431-4480, or e-mail Lewis at