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Conversation: North American Indigenous Shorts Program

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oin us for a powerful conversation that highlights the connections between eugenics and the issues facing Indigenous communities in North America today. Film curator Jason Ryle moderates a discussion between scholar and producer Dr. Joely Proudfit and Naomi Johnson, executive director at ImagineNATIVE film festival. Explore the connections between the racial hierarchies established by eugenics and the residential school and adoption policies in Canada and sovereignty issues in the US.

This program is offered as a Mead Moment, a special series presented by the Margaret Mead Film Festival at the American Museum of Natural History. The Festival showcases documentary films, shorts, and other media that increase our understanding of the complexity and diversity of peoples and cultures around the world.

For the Mead Moments, three preeminent film curators— Jason Ryle (ImagineNative Film Festival), Mahen Bonetti (African Film Festival), and Lawrence Carter-Long (Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund/Cinema Shift)—are collaborating with the Mead Film Festival to create a series of film screenings and round-table conversations that give central focus to the voices and stories from communities who were harmed by the 20th-century eugenics movement and who are living with the legacies of eugenicist ideals today.


  • Naomi Johnson

  • Jason Ryle

  • Dr. Joely Proudfit

    Dr. Joely Proudfit is a Luiseño/Payomkowishum scholar, producer, consultant. Proudfit owns Native Media Strategies, which collaborates and produces with entertainment industries and professionals and is actively engaged in elevating the authentic and contemporary voice of Native Americans. She has consulted, collaborated, advised and produced various projects in both film and TV including BBC, ABC/DISNEY, NETFLIX and the 2017 Scott Cooper film HOSTILES, NETFLIX series CHELSEA HANDLER, CHELSEA DOES, ABC’s STUMPTOWN and NETFLIX’s SPIRIT RANGERS. Dr. Proudfit serves as the Director of the California Indian Culture and Sovereignty Center and Department Chair of American Indian Studies at Cal State San Marcos.