The on-screen host, Lorenzo, is a Native American actor of Mescalero Apache/Isleta Pueblo descent, as well as an educator and visual artist with a Master of Arts degree from the University of California at Los Angeles in American Indian Studies.
Although each celebration is open to the public, your host leads you to explore and experience the sights and sounds of Native America from the native perspective. Lorenzo speaks with elders in native culture and tribal leaders and gives his audience an up-close and personal feel for what's happening.
Very little material describing native people or their important events are available for schools or the general public. Especially hard to find is material for Native California cultures. It is recommended especially for: Multicultural Programs, Ethnic Studies Programs, Public and College Libraries, Native American Departments, Social Studies/History Departments, Fourth, Fifth, and Eighth Grade Teachers.
Titles in the series include: Stanford Powwow, Big Time in Point Reyes, Santa Fe Indian Market, Tule Boat Construction, Native Veterans Day 2006, Sir Francis Drake Pageant, Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), Alcatraz Occupation: 35th Anniversary 2004.
Each year, on Mother's Day weekend, Stanford University holds its annual Powow. Stanford University has a long history of scholarship for native people. This video covers the 33rd annual powow with Lorenzo meeting many of his friends. This event is the largest of its kind on the west coast.
BIG TIME IN POINT REYES
Each year around the third week of July, Coast Me-wuk and Pomo people gather at Kule Loklo, a reconstructed village within Point Reyes National Seashore. The Native people of California refer to their gatherings as a Big Time.
SANTA FE INDIAN MARKET
Since 1922, Santa Fe has hosted the Indian Market, where native artists can show and sell their work to the public. The event is held the 3rd weekend of August and is sponsored by the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts. New Mexico has the largest percentage of Native people of any state.
TULE BOAT CONSTRUCTION
Traditionally, Native peoples have used tule reed for boat making throughout the Americas from the Northwest coast to South America. A group of school children and volunteer parents gathered to build a boat from tule reeds at Point Reyes. This video takes the viewer through the construction process and out onto the water.
NATIVE VETERANS DAY 2006
On November 10, 2006, Native American veterans from around the country met at Chuckchansi Park in Fresno, California to be honored with the Warriors Medal of Valor. The following day, November 11, 2006, Native American veterans had the honor of leading the Veterans Day Parade in Fresno. Two of the famed Navajo Code Talkers also attended the event.
SIR FRANCIS DRAKE PAGEANT
In autumn of 2003, Lorenzo was cast in a documentary to portray the first Me-wuk to meet Sir Francis Drake and his crew in 1579. This re-enactment of this first encounter is seen from a more personal point of view that includes Lorenzo paddling a hand crafted tule boat that was built in the traditional Me-wuk style.
INDIAN PUEBLO CULTURAL CENTER
The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center permanently displays Southwest Indian culture in the form of crafts, fine arts, pottery, and serves traditional foods in its restaurant. Located in Albuquerque, the center is open year-round. Traditional dancers perform for the public.
DIA DE LOS MUERTOS (DAY OF THE DEAD)
This celebration originated with the Aztecs over 4000 years ago. This event has been celebrated in Sacramento, California on November 2nd for the past 30 years. This episode documents these rituals and dances to provide a better understanding of native people's beliefs about death and how they honor their deceased. Community elders discuss the event and Aztec dancers describe regalia and ceremonial objects.
35th ANNIVERSARY 2004
On November 20, 1969, Alcatraz Island was occupied by American Indians of many tribes and held for 19 months. This action protested government policies designed to eliminate tribal rights regarding land, hunting and fishing. This episode celebrates that event and honors the original occupiers through songs, stories, and dance.
Educators who have viewed some of the episodes have added their own testimonials.
"The contemporary world of Native America comes alive in this new series" Dr. Victoria Bomberry, Ph.D., Native American Studies, UC Riverside
"Teachers were generous in their praise of the impact in their classrooms from this series" Twyla Olsen, Central Sierra Arts Council, Sonora, CA
"I was impressed firstly by the concept, and secondly by the potential educational and cultural value of this series." Dr. Brenda J. Chapman Ed.D., Assistant Superintendent, Tuolumne County Schools
"Lorenzo's videos reflect cultural pride and political integrity" Dr. Gabriel S. Estrada Ph.D., Native American Educational Network, Palomar College
" Authentic and reflects the culture accurately" Mary Puthoff, Title Vll Indian Education Director, Livermore School District
“...impressed with the authenticity and the accurate information presented....I can only say what a breath of fresh air.”
Froylan Ramirez, Office of Multicultural/
The entire series has been shown on a Fresno, California television station, KNXT Channel 49. Several of the episodes have been shown at these film festivals: Vancouver Aboriginal Film Festival, Native Film Festival in Palm Springs, and the San Francisco American Indian Film Festival.
For more information about the Native America series, visit the Robinson Twins web site at: www.RobinsonTwins.com, and click on the link Native America documentary series.