About the Films

Indian Country Diaries is a two-part series of documentaries that, for the first time, explore the challenges facing Native Americans in the 21st Century, in both urban and reservation settings. In each program, a Native American writer reveals his or her personal struggle with many of these issues and invites you to come along as they seek answers.

Native Americans in Indian Country today wrestle with many questions —

Flag bearers at a Pow Wow
  • How has new-found casino wealth impacted the economies of some Native Americans?
  • How are tribes coping with the influx of non-Indian wannabes, eager for a piece of the pie or a piece of native spirituality?
  • How can Native American parents teach their children their tribal history when they were not taught it themselves?
  • How do traditional Native American spiritual beliefs co-exist with Christianity?
  • Is there any middle ground between assimilation and isolation?

“A Seat at the Drum”

In Part One, “A Seat at the Drum”, journalist Mark Anthony Rolo (Bad River Ojibwe) sets out to learn how urban Indians in Los Angeles parallel his own life as they preserve a tribal identity, survive economically and cope with the pressures of a federal relocation program and assimilation in a multicultural metropolis.

“Spiral of Fire”

Part Two, “Spiral of Fire”, author LeAnne Howe (Choctaw) journeys to the North Carolina homeland of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and discovers how their fusion of tourism, cultural preservation, and spirituality is working to insure their tribe's vitality in the 21st Century.

This documentary series, produced by an all-Native American crew, offers unique insights into contemporary Indian life. Carol Cornsilk of Adanvdo Vision and Frank Blythe of Native American Public Telecommunications (NAPT) are executive producers.

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