Columbus Day look at how imagery shaped U.S. policy and attitudes toward Native Americans

October 10, 2011

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Kevin Costner plays a Union Army officer who befriends a Lakota tribe in the 1990 film 'Dances With Wolves'.

Well it’s Columbus Day. Over the years Columbus Day has become something of Rorschach test on what you think about our history with Native Americans or First Nation people. Jerome McDonnell saw a Columbus Day e-card the other day that said, "Let’s celebrate Columbus Day by moving into someone’s house and telling them we live there now."

Probably most of our perceptions about native Americans is from what we see in our films and on television. Today we revisit an installment of our occasional series Images, Movies and Race. Worldview Film Contributor, Milos Stehlik, from Facets Multimedia spoke with Dorene Wiese. She’s a filmmaker, historian and president of the American Indian Association of Illinois.

Dorene and Milos focused on how historical images of Native Americans in film and media helped form U.S. policy and attitudes towards Native Americans.