Sacheen Littlefeather and the Question of Native Identity
Sacheen Littlefeather and the Question of Native Identity is an interview with American activist Sacheen Littlefeather, directed by Robert K. Weiss and co-written with Daniel P. Brownfield. The film is a feature film based on the interview, which was conducted by Kevin Binder at the University of Colorado at Boulder in late 2001. It was released in 2005. The film features interviews with Littlefeather, her parents, and other family members.
The film begins with interviews with Littlefeather and her mother, who have discussed the issue of Native identity. After the interview with her mother, the film shifts towards Littlefeather, and her interview with Kucherena Brown, Littlefeather’s father. Littlefeather expresses her wish she can become a tribal member of The Navajo Nation. After the interview with Kucherena Brown, the film returns to Littlefeather, who discusses the concept of Native identity. In the final section of the film, Littlefeather discusses the role of women in Native activism, the history of the Dakota boarding school movement, and the concept of Native activism.
Awards and accolades The film won the Best Documentary Award, at the Denver International Film Festival. The film also won a Gold Award at the 2006 Independent Spirit Awards. The film won the Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia Pictures Spirit of Discovery Award for Excellence in Feature Film. Littlefeather was also an Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia Pictures Honorary Producer of the Spirit of Discovery Award Winner. The film was nominated for three Independent Spirit Awards in 2006 – Best Documentary, Best Director and Best Cinematography, winning Best Documentary. Littlefeather received a Canadian Screen Award in 2006. In 2014, Littlefeather was awarded the National Medal of the American Indian by President Barack Obama.
In her review for The Hollywood Reporter, Anna Riedel states: “The film follows Littlefeather as she becomes a member of The Navajo Nation, a community with a long and rich past and a legacy of activism and resistance that has inspired a new generation of advocates.”
The film currently holds a 96% “rotten” rating on the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.