Produced by the Institute for Tribal Government at Portland State University in 2004, the landmark “Great Tribal Leaders of Modern Times” interview series presents the oral histories of contemporary leaders who have played instrumental roles in Native nations' struggles for sovereignty, self-determination, and treaty rights.
Please note that the AIFG website is a work in progress. Because the films are its essential asset, we have made them available before the rest of the website is available. A list of films, arranged alphabetically by tribe, is on the Peoples page. For questions or comments, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
The American Indian Film Gallery (AIFG) is an online collection of more than 450 historic films by and about Native peoples of the Americas, compiled and digitized by historian J. Fred MacDonald over many years. These films range in date from 1925-2010. Most date to the so-called Golden Age of educational filmmaking, from 1945 to the rise of consumer-grade video equipment in the 1970s. Many of the films from that period were sponsored by industry or governmental agencies. Others were made by independent educational filmmakers.
With the change in technology from film to video, films in the collection shift from being about Native people to by Native peoples. Much of the work made in the last third of the 20th century comes from Indian communities themselves.
You will find a wide variety of lifeways, cultural practices, biographies, public presentations, governmental actions, public ceremonials, and people represented. Some films also contain audio of Native languages being spoken, chants, and songs, providing a valuable resource for language preservation.
In July 2011, this collection was awarded to the University of Arizona. The original films are preserved by the Library of Congress. Digital copies may be obtained for educational and tribal uses. For request forms and a fee schedule, please click here [read more]