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The Northerner

Native American film series begins

Shelby Rodgers, Contributing writer

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Throughout this semester, Kiksuya and First Nations are coming together to host a film series featuring different Native American documentaries to raise interest and awareness of issues among Native Americans today.

Kiksuya is an organization at Northern Kentucky University made up of volunteers dedicated to improving conditions among Native Americans. Each year, the group, led by sociology professor Nicole Grant and president Lura Appelman, travels to South Dakota to volunteer at a reservation named Pine Ridge. There are already many indigenous self-help and activist groups on the reservation and these volunteers are trying to assist them.

First Nations is a group dedicated to educating people and making them aware of social issues facing Native Americans and indigenous people. This semester, these two groups will be merging together to work towards their common goal of improving conditions for Native Americans.

Appelman, a senior biology major, became active in the group about two years ago. “I was just very interested in being able to go out and learn more about Native Americans and help them move on with their lives, despite troubles they are going through,” she said.

Grant, the advisor to Kiksuya and First Nations, said that the group’s main project now is an organic garden that they started in Pine Ridge. There is such a high rate of diabetes there, it is important to make sure the right foods are available to them. The project began last year and will continue through 2012.
According to Appelman, this film series is important because it will raise awareness of the problems going on that people might not know about, such as poverty, illness and suicide rates on reservations.

“For me, it is about social responsibility,” said Rosa Christophel, a junior anthropology and religions major. “We live such a better life than a lot of people, and we need to take action and do what we can to help.”

Three more documentaries will be shown on Feb. 27, Mar. 26 and Apr. 16. They will be shown at 7:00 p.m. in Landrum 506.

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Native American film series begins