Dawnland

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USA | 2018 | 87 min | Adam Mazo, Ben Pender-Cudlip

Stolen children, racism, devastated families, and cultural genocide encompass this searing documentary about government sanctioned atrocities committed against native peoples in the United States, in particular the Wabanaki people of Maine, whose existence hangs by a thread.

"The feature-length documentary Dawnland follows the TRC to contemporary Wabanaki communities to witness intimate, sacred moments of truth-telling and healing." - Upstander Project 

FREE Public Screening: Saturday May 26, 2018 | Seattle Central Library (1000 4th Ave. Seattle)
1:00 PM - Reception
1:30 PM - Dawnland, preceded by Holy Angels
3:30 PM - Panel Discussion

For much of the last century, the United States government maintained a genocidal policy that forcibly removed Native American children from their homes and placed them into white communities. Many of them faced traumatic physical and emotional abuse by white adults in effort to erase their cultural identity and history. Dawnland is a heart-bleeding documentary that reveals the untold narrative of Indigenous child removal in the United States. Recently, Maine became the first state to sanction a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), with the sole purpose of recording the actual history of this policy, its devastating effects on Indigenous people, and the formulation of a more genuine healing process. The film follows both native and non-native commissioners as they travel across the state speaking to tribes of the Wabanaki people. These recorded meetings, the first state government sanctioned of their kind, produce intimate and harrowing moments of truth and reconciliation. But they soon discover these atrocities are more than just history, as current state policy continues to shatter Wabanaki families and threaten the tribe's very existence. What begins as a learning process evolves into a modern fight for a people's inalienable human rights.

Director Biography

Hailing from Minnesota and a graduate of the University of Florida, director Adam Mazo is the co-founder of the Upstander Project. The goals of the organization are to inspire mass audiences to take action against injustices by utilizing powerful documentary films. Along with his work in filmmaking, he is a skilled journalist for over 20 years on major broadcast outlets for television news.

While living in Boston, Massachusetts, Ben Pender-Cudlip work on independent films and is a freelance director of photography for other outside agencies. He is extremely passionate about social justice and is currently the director and photographer for over a dozen documentary films that shed light on alienated community stories.

Sponsored by Tulalip Tribes Charitable Fund

  • Director: Adam Mazo, Ben Pender-Cudlip
  • Premiere Status: Seattle
  • Country: USA
  • Year: 2018
  • Running Time: 87 min
  • Producer: Adam Mazo, N. Bruce Duthu
  • Cinematographers: Ben Pender-Cudlip
  • Editors: Kristen Salerno
  • Music: Jennifer Kreisberg
  • Language: English
  • Format: BluRay