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The Resilience of Growing Up Native American

Jan 17, 2017 | 831 videos
Video by Independent Lens

In this moving, 10-minute profile, a Shoshone elder from Wyoming reflects on his childhood and his time fighting in Vietnam. Philbert McLeod is featured in the new documentary What Was Ours, about Native Americans’ fight to reclaim their missing artifacts from Chicago’s Field Museum. You can stream the full documentary on the PBS website. In this film extra, McLeod, who died last year, remembers what it was like in the mid-fifties to go to school on the reservation. "If a student was caught speaking Shoshone, the teacher would tell him, ‘Go to the blackboards,’” he reminisces. “[And he’d write] ‘I will not speak Shoshone ever again,’ 500 times.”

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Author: Nadine Ajaka

About This Series

A showcase of cinematic short documentary films, curated by The Atlantic.