March 25, 2021
BROOKS, CA (March 25, 2021) – Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation, Lead Executive Producer of the feature film “Imagining the Indian,” announced today a second round of funding for the project. A work-in-progress cut of the film demonstrates its unflinching look at racism against Native American people, especially as expressed in racial slurs being used as nicknames and mascots for sports teams.
“The American awakening won’t be complete until there’s an acknowledgment of how deeply hurtful these racist nicknames and mascots are,” said the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation Tribal Council in a statement. “We are pleased that so many people are joining us by supporting this project in the name of social justice.”
Although the film is still in production, the work-in-progress cut is already garnering attention and awards. Most recently, it won the Audience Award for the Best Documentary Short at the Film Pittsburgh Festival. The documentary was also featured in the Sacramento Jewish Film Festival’s Social Justice Series and on PBS affiliate KVIE’s Studio Sacramento.
But the goal is not accolades. Since the film has gone into production there has been a sea change in the perception of racist mascots and their use. A prime example is the Washington Football Team’s rejection of an especially egregious racial slur as its former team name.
The Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation is proud to be a leader on this issue, and is grateful for the work of The Ciesla Foundation and Co-Directors Aviva Kempner and Ben West on this project.
Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation is an independent, self-governed nation that supports our people and the Capay Valley, CA community by strengthening our culture, stewarding our land and creating economic independence for future generations.