Native Americans’ experiences shared online

Storytelling is a rich and vibrant part of Native American culture. Some online videos caught our attention recently; they offer powerful stories of Native Americans’ experiences.

In O-Gitch-I-Dah Talking Circle about the FAFSA (22 minutes), Native American students at a north-central Minnesota community college tell their stories about filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA): challenges they faced, techniques they used to overcome those challenges, and the opportunities they’ve had as a result. Produced by videographer and Leech Lake Ojibwe band member David McDonald for Itasca Community College in Grand Rapids. 

Aaron Huey, photographer, adventurer and storyteller, juxtaposes images from his five-year project depicting poverty of the Lakota people on the Pine Ridge reservation with a timeline of the relationship between the U.S. government and the Lakota and Sioux tribes in this TEDx talk (16 mins.) from last September. 

Elders from tribes across the continent share powerful stories from living in, or with survivors of, Indian boarding schools in “The Wellbriety Movement: Journey to Forgiveness” (1 hr. 13 mins.). Produced by Colorado-based Native American nonprofit White Bison, the piece depicts individual, community and collective pain, grief and anger head-on.

Minnesota is home to 11 Native American tribes, each with their own stories. Check out: Bois Forte, Fond Du Lac, Grand Portage, Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, Lower Sioux, Mille Lacs, Prairie Island, Red Lake, Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux, Upper Sioux, White Earth.