Film, Video Civil Rights, Identity & Sovereignty: Native American Perspectives on History, Law & the Path Ahead

Transcript: TEXT

About this Item


  • Civil Rights, Identity & Sovereignty: Native American Perspectives on History, Law & the Path Ahead


  • Noted Native American scholars, authors, and civil rights activists Walter Echo-Hawk, Malinda Maynor Lowery, LaDonna Harris, and Tim Tingle look back at the long Native American struggle for equality, examine current barriers for sustaining community ways of life and identity, and address the path ahead for Native nations and communities. The event is moderated by Letitia Chambers and co-sponsored by the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries & Museums, the Institute for Museum & Library Services, the Ak-Chin Community Council and the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation.

Event Date

  • September 10, 2015


  • -  Letitia Chambers is chairman of the board for ATALM and recently retired as the president and CEO of the Heard Museum in Phoenix, Arizona. A graduate of the University of Oklahoma, she holds a doctorate in educational research and curriculum development from Oklahoma State University. Chambers has previously held senior management positions in the private sector, government, and education. In 1981, she founded Chambers Associates Inc., a public policy consulting firm based in Washington, D.C., where she served as president and CEO. Subsequently, she was managing director at Navigant Consulting, where she oversaw initiatives of the firm related to both public policy and management consulting. At the national and international level, Chambers served as the U.S. Representative to the United Nations General Assembly, beginning in 1996, and made significant contributions as a member of the Management and Budget Committee of the General Assembly. From 2004 to 2005, she headed up the system of higher education for the state of New Mexico where she worked to revamp and reform key aspects of the system. Dr. Chambers has served on corporate boards, particularly in the financial sector, and on numerous educational and philanthropic boards, including the Institute of American Indian Arts and Culture. She continues to serve on the advisory board of the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation. In all these endeavors, she has sought to preserve and enhance Indian arts and cultures, improve educational opportunities for Indian students, and broaden public appreciation for Native contributions.
  • -  Tim Tingle is an award-winning author and storyteller who has been featured at festivals in forty-two states, including five appearances at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesboro, Tenn., and the American Folklife Center's public program series (2011). He has completed 11 speaking tours for the U.S. Department of Defense, performing stories to children of military personnel stationed in Germany. Tingle's roots inform his work: his great-great grandfather, John Carnes, walked the Trail of Tears in 1835, and his paternal grandmother attended a series of rigorous Indian boarding schools in the early 1900s. In the early 1990s, responding to a scarcity of Choctaw lore, Tingle began collecting tribal stories in his home state, and went on to a Masters Degree in English Literature at the University of Oklahoma (2003), with a focus on American Indian studies. His first book, "Walking the Choctaw Road" (2005) was followed by "Crossing Bok Chitto" (2005), his first book for young readers; the latter garnered more than 20 state and national awards, including Best Children"s Book from the American Indian Library Association, and was an Editor"s Choice in the New York Times Book Review. He wrote and produced the documentary film, "The Choctaw Lighthorsemen," a historical look at the tribal police force, which premiered in 2011. His latest book, "House of Purple Cedar" (2013), tells the story of a Choctaw family in 1896 Oklahoma, and their struggles against the forces of big-boom railroad interests and white supremacy.
  • -  LaDonna Harris is president of Americans for Indian Opportunity (AIO) and has influenced the agendas of the civil rights, feminist, environmental and world peace movements over the course of her life and career. Harris was raised in Indian country near the small town of Walters, Oklahoma, during the Great Depression by her maternal grandparents. She began her career in public service as the wife of US Senator Fred Harris, becoming the first wife of a Senator to testify before a Congressional committee. She was instrumental in the return of Taos Blue Lake to the people of Taos Pueblo in 1970 and the granting of federal recognition to the Menominee of Wisconsin in 1973. She has presided over AIO since the 1970s. AIO catalyzes and facilitates culturally appropriate initiatives that enrich the lives of indigenous peoples. Harris also helped to found some of today's leading national Indian organizations, including the National Indian Housing Council, Council of Energy Resource Tribes, National Tribal Environmental Council and National Indian Business Association. In 1994, Vice President Al Gore recognized Harris as a leader in the area of telecommunications in his remarks at the White House Tribal Summit and Ron Brown, then-Secretary of Commerce, appointed her to the Advisory Council on the National Information Infrastructure. During her many years in public service she has served on the following Presidential Commissions: National Council on Indian Opportunity (Johnson), White House Fellows Commission (Nixon), U.S. Commission on the Observance of International Women's Year (Ford) and Commission on Mental Health (Carter). She has also served as US Representative to the OAS Inter-American Indigenous Institute and UNESCO.
  • -  Malinda Maynor Lowery is a member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina. She is a historian and documentary film producer, associate professor of history at UNC-Chapel Hill, and director of the Southern Oral History Program. Her first book, "Lumbee Indians in the Jim Crow South: Race, Identity, and the Making of a Nation" (2010), was published by UNC Press and has won several awards. She is currently working on "The Lumbee Indians: An American Struggle," a survey of Lumbee history from 1521 to the present. Films she has produced include "A Chef's Life" (2013, 2014), "Private Violence" (2014), "In the Light of Reverence" (2001), "Real Indian" (1996) and "Sounds of Faith" (1997).
  • -  Walter Echo-Hawk (Pawnee) is a Native American speaker, author and attorney. Throughout his distinguished legal career, he has worked to protect the legal, political, property, cultural and human rights of Indian tribes and Native peoples. An articulate and versed indigenous rights activist, Echo-Hawk delivers keynote speeches and lectures on a wide variety of indigenous topics, involving Native arts and cultures, indigenous history, federal Indian law, religious freedom, environmental protection, Native American cosmology and human rights. He makes keynote appearances at important events throughout Indian Country and around the world. Over the years, he has offered major speeches in South Africa, Turkey, Egypt, Qatar, Philippines, Fiji, Canada and throughout the United States. His last book lecture tour for his groundbreaking book, "In the Courts of the Conqueror: The 10 Worst Indian Law Cases Ever Decided" (2010) took him to 28 states.

Running Time

  • 2 hours 15 minutes 22 seconds

Online Format

  • video
  • image
  • online text

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Chicago citation style:

Civil Rights, Identity & Sovereignty: Native American Perspectives on History, Law & the Path Ahead. 2015. Video.

APA citation style:

(2015) Civil Rights, Identity & Sovereignty: Native American Perspectives on History, Law & the Path Ahead. [Video] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Civil Rights, Identity & Sovereignty: Native American Perspectives on History, Law & the Path Ahead. 2015. Video. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.