week 12: Te Ata

On Thursday night I attended California’s American Indian & Indigenous Film Festival. I decided to go and watch the movie Te Ata.

Yet another movie that is based on a true story.. this time the story of an native American woman Mary Francis Thompson, also called Te Ata, after needing a better stage name. As a Indian name Te Ata of course has a meaning; barer of the morning. I liked that the movie had historical accuracy such as the Chickasaw nation where Te Ata was from, were unwillingly forced in to becoming part of Oklahoma state. Te Ata travelled America with a performance group, telling the stories of several different native tribes. The life as an artist opened her eyes to a life of meaning, spreading knowledge about the Indian culture, performing in front of both the presidents and royalties.

The more i learn about the native American culture the more interested I’ve become.. the injustice that that people have had to go through is disgraceful. We often forget about them due to all the other hatred that is going on both in this country and in the world. The white man has always seem to go wherever and taking whatever, with no thought of the people that will end up suffering. Because of that a lot of culture has been lost.
What i like best about indigenous people is the way they interact with nature, the way they make use of the naturally resources we got instead of the “man created” resources. I guess we could all learn a little something, caring for our nature is vital for our survival. Too bad not everyone believes in global warming and climate change.

A couple of quotes from the movie followed me back home…
“People are afraid of what they don’t know” – Douglas Johnston (governor at the Indian territory).  This quote bares nothing but truth… the human race has always been afraid of what they don’t know, and that is why we’ve gotten divided because we chose not to listen to each other, we are to afraid of what the other one might say,… especially if that person looks or acting different from ourselves.

“being Indian is not a crutch, its an advantage” – Mrs Davis (also later said by Te Ata). I’m a little unsure if I got the quote completely right but it went something like that. I liked it because its so motivational, we shouldn’t see our differences as something bad, but instead use the advantage of knowing something someone else might not and being able to spread that knowledge..We are all different and we shouldn’t be ashamed of who we are.

“Make the unknown, known” – Dr. Clyde Fisher (i believe it was him who said it…) this one ties back to my first quote… and I keep liking these sayings because they are about spreading knowledge.. and it is so important that we do, because we need to fight ignorance, we need to stop fearing one another.

I also came to realize that the native American culture seem to have had very strong and confident women, something we really don’t see in a lot of cultures.. it was inspiring to see how devoted and determined Te Ata were in her life journey, she was a female figure we should highlight and let other girls be inspired by.
(required selfie.. really need a new phone.. my front camera is taking way to blurry photos)

A world free from hate may be far off, but a world a little less mean is a goal we should all work for.. our future generations depend on it.


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