Few factors are as defining for our identities as language. Take part in a fascinating opportunity to examine in depth the experience of one group of Native American teens as they work to learn their ancestral language. The Yellowstone Art Museum will screen The Young Ancestors, a prize-winning documentary selected for many film festivals. Viewers have stated that this film is “beautiful and powerful; it made me cry” and that it is a “beautiful work and concept.” Documentarian Aimée Barry Broustra traces a group of Southwestern Native teens who, under the guidance of a mentor, undertook the difficult journey to revitalize their language and culture through language. A film about courage and hope, and the triumph of honor and respect, The Young Ancestors promises a future rich in the kind of diversity that only language can provide. More information about the film is available at theyoungancestors.com. “I Speak,” the YAM’s program combining the film screening and discussion, will take place on Thursday, October 20, 2016, beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the YAM’s Murdock Gallery.
The screening of this hour-long documentary will be followed by a discussion between the filmmaker Aimée Barry Broustra and Dr. Richard Littlebear, president of Chief Dull Knife College in Lame Deer on the Northern Cheyenne reservation. Dr. Littlebear is also a member of the board of the Indigenous Language Institute. Ms. Broustra, a Temple University graduate, is a producer, director, and writer with other documentary credits that include a film about horsemanship.
Other programming about Native American culture and issues will take place in October and November at MSU-Billings, including the opening of an exhibition of the work of Wendy Red Star. At the YAM, art by regional Native American artists, including Kevin Red Star and Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, will be on exhibit in the Boundless Visions exhibition. The galleries will be open the evening of the “I Speak” program. The program is a must-see for those passionate about language, cultural diversity, and Native American issues. Thursday, October 20, 2016, is Educators Free Day. Admission to the museum is free in honor of all educators, and this includes the “I Speak” evening program. For more information, visit the museum’s website artmuseum.org.
Yellowstone Art Museum
401 North 27th Street
Billings, MT 59101
The YAM is the region’s largest contemporary art museum, nationally accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. It offers changing exhibitions, art education, a café, an art sales gallery, the Visible Vault, and a 7,500-piece permanent collection. The Yellowstone Art Museum hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, & Saturday 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; Thursday & Friday 10 a.m. –8 p.m.; and Sunday 11am–4pm. Admission: Members and High Five cardholders free, $6 adults, $3 students with valid ID, $3 children 6–18, under 6 free, $12 family (2 adults and 3 children max.) $4 discount price (please inquire).