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Shirley K. Sneve,
Executive Director
What does $1.35 buy these days? 

That's how much money (per person a year) goes toward funding the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). That's $445 million annually. 
The President's budget proposal to Congress recommends cutting public media funding--as well as the arts ($139 million); humanities ($139 million); and libraries and museums ($230 million). 
Vision Maker Media funding from CPB is $1.36 million annually. Compare this to the cost of an average budget for a major motion picture--$100 million. 
But there is no comparison, because we produce documentaries by and about American Indians and Alaska Natives. Last year, we brought seven documentaries to PBS stations, as well as three new media projects. 
It's seed money that is matched by funds from other investors and grants. Without this federal commitment, these stories will not be heard. These documentaries provide historically accurate, objective and balanced profiles that most commercial broadcasters have no interest in airing. 
Without CPB funding, local PBS stations may be forced to go off-air or to drastically cut the content and services our communities rely on. The lifesaving emergency communications, local programming, proven-effective educational content for children, trusted news and other services our stations provide could disappear. It could even leave many rural communities without access to any local media at all.
Cutting funding won't erase our national debt. But it will devastate our communities. Public media funding enables local stations to provide virtually every household--more than 98 percent of the U.S.--with thousands of hours of free, noncommercial programming and services.
Join us in letting Congress know that Public Broadcasting, the arts, humanities, libraries and museums are investments that make America great.
New Viewer Discussion Guides:  'What Was Ours' & 'Badger Creek'
"Arapaho and Shoshone people have always wanted
a museum on the reservation. When people hear that
we ask to borrow our artifacts, they wonder why we have to ask. They're ours." 
- Jordan Dresser, Northern Arapaho Tribal Member
Two new viewer discussion guides are now available online to complement our films. Each guide includes a synopsis, producer comments, numerical and statistical information, discussion questions, suggested activities and resources. Qualified educators develop grade appropriate materials for classroom use and for general audience use at community screenings. 
What Was Ours is a film that touches on the lives of three individuals from the Wind River Indian Reservation and their journey to The Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois. They each take this trip with hopes to bring home artifacts stored within the walls of the museum. Each individual brings a perspective to the story which is unique to his or her age and life experiences--representing the past, present and future of the Wind River Indian Reservation.
Badger Creek is a half-hour documentary portrait of a Blackfeet (Pikuni) family, the Mombergs, who live on the lower Blackfeet Reservation in Montana near the banks of Badger Creek. In addition to running a prosperous ranch, they practice a traditional Blackfeet cultural lifestyle that sustains and nourishes them. They send their children to a Blackfeet language immersion school and participate in Blackfeet spiritual ceremonies. The film profiles family life through four seasons in the magnificent and traditional territory of the Pikuni Nation. We witness family interactions between the three generations of the Momberg family, who live under one roof, work hard, laugh, play, love and support each other through the good and hard times. 

More than 50 viewer discussion guides are available for our films: 
40 Years. 40 Films. 40 Weeks.
'Racing the Rez' Film Profiles Youth Courage, Determination
Brian Truglio is a filmmaker and editor as well as a former cross-country athlete and current long-distance runner. He first traveled to the Navajo and Hopi Reservations in the early 1990s as part of a month-long assistant teaching program run by Bucknell University and has since returned a number of times. 
Racing the Rez  is featured on Vision Maker Media's  40 Years. 40 Films. 40 Weeks.   during the week of May 2. Read what Truglio says about his film and the overall importance of Native films.
Q. Why is it important to have films created, written and produced by Natives in today's media?
A. One of the questions I asked the Navajo and Hopi kids I interviewed for Racing the Rez was, "How do you think people outside the reservation see you?" Virtually everyone responded with a variation on the same theme, 'They want to know if I live in a Tee-pee; if I wear feathers in my hair; if I can do a rain dance.' These tragic answers all share one thing in common, they are based on Native stereotypes trapped in the past.
Natives today are anything but; their voices are a vibrant and essential part of our national conversation. Their perspectives are a vital piece of our country's identity. And Native films add a unique vision, sense of place and humor to the ongoing story of America.
Q. Why do you think people should tune in for 40 Years. 40 Films. 40 Weeks?
A. This series is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to take a wild, rewarding and inspiring ride through 40 years of the best films by and about Native people. See the world through Native eyes and be prepared to be changed by what you see.
Q. What one experience would you want audiences to take away after viewing your film?
A. I hope viewers appreciate that despite the tremendous obstacles the boys in the film faced, they did not define themselves as victims. Their courage and dedication to overcome their challenges helped them accomplish great things individually and as a team. I hope these boys are as much an inspiration to viewers as they are to me.
Upcoming Film Screenings
Don't miss a chance to screen one of our films when it comes to your area. Tell your friends.

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