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First Light: Sisters of Sunrise

October 21

First Light: Sisters of Sunrise. The world is on the horizon of a new and powerful wave of innovative film, animation and new media producers, directors and revolutionaries who are shifting the way filmmaking is seen and produced. Join us for a special screening of films that explore the power women filmmakers have as keepers of our genesis and creators of legacy and legend. Our event is hosted by filmmaker Missy Whiteman (Northern Arapaho and Kickapoo) and includes selected work of other Indigenous women filmmakers and animators.

Some of our titles for the evening:

NAWA GIIZHIGONG (Missy Whiteman)

Two friends are faced with a shocking tragedy on the day they happen to discuss the theoretical beginnings of life and the universe. The resolution of the dire event reveals a new understanding of life and death, in relation to their own origin story


Once Upon a Time (Missy Whiteman)

Inspired by the Indigenous people of Turtle Island and the ancestors who we follow. Seen through the eyes of a child, our world today and our return to living in our truth as sacred people.

The Coyote Way: Going Back Home (Concept Trailer) (Missy Whiteman)

Reality and ancient lore merge in a vivid, dream-like voyage for a Charlie, a young boy who must choose between joining a street gang or begin a journey to discover his destiny.

Indigo (Amanda Strong, 2014)

Indigo is a beautifully rendered animation inspired by Indigenous ideologies and personal experience. It tells the story of a woman who confronts her internal war with the help of grandmother spider and faces the many layers of herself and life, to revitalize her spirit. Indigo examines the implications of the decline of the imagination concurrent with the rise of rationality and the cyclical war these two archetypes engage in.


Honey for Sale (Amanda Strong, 2009)

The tenuous life of the honeybee sheds light on the fragile nature of human existence.

Mia (Amanda Strong, 2015)

A young Indigenous female street artist named Mia’ walks through the city streets painting scenes rooted in the supernatural history of her people. Lacking cultural resources and familial connection within the city, she paints these images from intuition and blood memory. She has not heard the stories from her Elders lips, but has found her own methods to rediscover them. The alleyways become her sanctuary and secret gallery, and her art comes to life. Mia’ is pulled into her own transformation via the vessel of a salmon. In the struggle to return home, she traverses through polluted waters and skies, witnessing various forms of industrial violence and imprint that have occurred upon the land.


Mayor of Ship Rock ( Ramona Emerson)

A feature-length documentary by Reel Indian Pictures–we will screen the trailer.  In the town of Shiprock, New Mexico, poverty and corruption have long been a struggle and as the Navajo Nation looks for leadership, it is met with scandal. To make a change, a young group of men and women are taking back their community–led by 21-year-old Graham Beyale. This is the story of how one vision toward the future can make a difference, inspiring a generation of leaders to make changes in their own communities.   To contact Ramona Emerson regarding Reel Indian Pictures:  To learn more about Ramona Emerson:


Wakening (Danis Goulet, 2013)

In the near future, the environment has been destroyed and society suffocates under a brutal military occupation. A lone Cree wanderer, Wesakechak, searches an urban war zone to find the ancient and dangerous Weetigo to help fight against the occupiers.


About out our host Missy Whiteman

Missy Whiteman (Northern Arapaho and

Kickapoo) understands her work to be a voice for her ancestors to educate and to foster better understanding among all peoples as well as to promote positive change in Native and Non-Native communities. While based in part on traditional ways and ideas, her work also addresses themes of loss in relation to larger cultural forces as well as the process of healing and redefining cultural identity. Many of Missy’s short videos incorporate, Indigenous languages, teachings and values and have screened in tribal communities, local film festivals to national venues such as National Geographic All Roads Festival.

Rooted in the arts at an early age, Missy was raised in an artistic environment, with her biggest influence being her father who taught her how to envision the world though the artist eye. Missy Whiteman’s upbringing in Minneapolis, Minnesota gave her the opportunity to be exposed to Native artists and filmmakers from many different Nations as well as other creative people from various ethnic backgrounds. Missy continued her pursuit in the arts when she attended the Minnesota Center for Arts education where her artistic and healing creative process were first developed . She later attended the Minneapolis College for Art and Design for Filmmaking and photography where she continued developed her skills as a media artist and filmmaker.

Today, Missy works as an independent consultant with Independent Indigenous Film and media. IIFM’s mission is to help educate, and create better visibility for Indigenous media by providing digital media production, training and visibility for media for communities, organizations and youth. Projects developed and produced with the guidance of IIFM, carry the vision and the message of spiritual healing through digital media.


Location and Time

Augsburg College
Sateren Auditorium, Music Hall, 715 22nd Ave South
Missy Talks with Students 5:00-6:00
Reception 6:15-6:45
Screening begins at 7:00
Discussion with filmmakers follows
This event is free to the public


Thank you to our sponsors: Augsburg College, American Indian, First Nations, and Indigenous Studies Department, Augsburg Indigenous Student Association, Augsburg’s Women in Film Student Group, the Institute for Global Studies at the University of Minnesota, and Independent Indigenous Film and Media (IIFM)



For parking permits contact M. Elise Marubbio at Permits are limited in number. For parking directions visit: You will be parking in Lot L off of 35th between Riverside and Butler Pl. You will need a parking permit.

If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation to the Augsburg Native American Film Series or this project, please send your checks to:

Augsburg Native American Film Series
Augsburg College, CB 115
2011 Riverside Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55454