As a filmmaker and storyteller that grew up on the Navajo reservation, I am deeply passionate about the idea of having Natives reclaim our stories and telling them on our own accord. In this documentary, I want to showcase the human rights issues surrounding Native Americans and how tribes deal with these issues both with limited resources while incorporating tribal teachings and traditions.
My name is Megan Wilson, and I was born and raised on the Navajo reservation. I didn't view my upbringing and heritage as anything but "normal" until I had my first encounter with racism as a teenager, and that was only the beginning.
Once I left home for college for the first time, that was when I was confronted with the lingering ideas that non-Natives have of us--living in teepees, wearing headdresses and traditional regalia all the time, making dreamcatchers, etc. It wouldn't be until years later that I realized the importance of having us tell our own stories in our way and sharing that with the world. We are more than just relics of history, we are living, breathing people who are alive and navigating life in a place like the United States, where this land is our home but we've been made to feel like it is not.
Native Americans are still seen as a novelty, a relic of the past. Our identity, according to American history, is rooted in being a white man's discovery. Marginalization and discrimination is nothing new; it is something that Native People have had to deal with for generations.
This documentary series will explore the struggles of Native America in every aspect — health and well being of Natives, education, infrastructure, economy and so forth. Indigenous communities must be creative and diligent in how to combat these situations with solutions. Federal, state, and tribal laws, combined with limited resources are all contributing factors to the root of the ongoing marginalization of Native Americans.
Natives and non-Natives still don’t know so much about how these issues should be addressed and handled. As a Native woman I feel a sense of responsibility in sharing these stories of my people with the world. We (Natives) have had people tell our stories for us many times in the past, and I want us to be able take back our narrative and share it while honoring the traditions, histories, cultures and people involved.
Money raised from this campaign will go towards producing the documentary - here is what is entailed:
- Equipment. We need to purchase cameras, audio equipment, and lighting to produce this in the best quality we can and that the stories deserve.
- Permits, insurance, and other fees. We have to acquire permits to film in certain locations and need to be able to pay for transportation, accommodations and other production costs for the crew and cast. Besides myself, our crew will consist entirely of people of color in every phase of production.
- Invest. By investing in this campaign, you are directly contributing to a Native filmmaker and our ability to tell our stories. Representation and equity for marginalized people is more important than ever in this cultural climate, and your monetary investment will play a huge role in that.
- Share. Help us turn this idea into a movement by spreading the word and sharing my story. Tell your friends, your family, share it with your social media followers. It's a free and easy way that you can help us accomplish this goal.