Honoring Native Americans
November is Native American Heritage Month, which recognizes the contributions, history and culture of the indigenous people of the United States. Dallas ISD is commemorating the month by sharing a series of documentaries and films from Chickasaw Nation Productions.
In 1990, The U.S. Congress passed a resolution designating November as the first National American Indian Heritage Month to honor the members of the members of the more than 574 federally recognized tribal nations that govern an estimated 100 million acres of indigenous land. This year, President Joe Biden issued a proclamation praising the contributions of native people in the advancement of the United States, including the Code Talkers of World War II. To read the full proclamation, click here.
The Chickasaw Nation Productions films can be viewed by clicking on their respective links below:
BEARER OF THE MORNING: THE LIFE OF TE ATA THOMPSON FISHER (Documentary)—Born in small-town Oklahoma, Mary Thompson Fisher, later known as “Te Ata,” was determined to pursue her passion as a performer. Supported by her undeniable charisma and oratorical talent, Te Ata entertained and enlightened audiences across the world, including royalty and statesmen. Throughout her travels and performances, Te Ata kept her Chickasaw heritage close to heart and shared the unique story and spirit of the Chickasaw people. By studying and performing traditional Native American stories, she overturned negative stereotypes and advocated the preservation of Indigenous American cultures.
First Encounter (Documentary)—First Encounter explores the actions taken by Chickasaws in 1540 during their first contact with Europeans. The documentary highlights the encounters, struggles and perseverance of the Chickasaw people throughout Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto’s attempted conquest. It was the first European contact for the Chickasaw, but perhaps the most important and set the standard by which the tribe remained for centuries and remains today – “unconquered and unconquerable.”
Pearl Carter Scott: On Top of the World (Documentary)—The story of Native American aviatrix Pearl Carter Scott.
Pearl (Movie)—Set in 1920s rural Oklahoma, Pearl is based on the remarkable true story of Chickasaw aviatrix, Pearl Carter Scott –the youngest licensed pilot in American history. Mentored by world-renowned aviator Wiley Post, Pearl first pilots a plane at the age of 12 and becomes a commercial pilot and local celebrity before she reaches adulthood.
Te Ata (Movie)—This movie is based on the inspiring, true story of Mary Thompson Fisher, a woman who traversed cultural barriers to become one of the greatest First American performers of all time. Born in Indian Territory and raised on the songs and stories of her Chickasaw culture, Te Ata’s journey to find her true calling led her through isolation, discovery, love and a stage career that culminated in performances for a United States president, European royalty and audiences across the world. Yet, of all the stories she shared, none is more inspiring than her own.