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Arts & Culture

FilmForum: Dawnland

Saturday, April 14, 2018
1:20 p.m. - 3:20 p.m.

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It's no secret that the U.S. government's track record with Native Americans has never been stellar. But you may be unaware of the horrors documented in DAWNLAND. For much of the 20th century, social workers stole Native children from their homes and placed them with white families. The reasons for their removal were often unfounded; some were the result of cultural differences that non-Natives didn't understand. More troubling is this practice seemed to be part of a systematic move to distance the children from their heritage and erase their culture. They were given new names and forced to act, dress, and talk like white Americans. These methods were an effort to once again wipe Native Americans from our history – use whatever words you will, but it's essentially a more subtle form of genocide. DAWNLAND focuses on Maine's recent formation of a Truth and Reconciliation Committee that aims to help those affected by this atrocity. In this eye-opening documentary, their heartbreaking stories are finally told. But the healing won't be easy. Though many of the victims are now adults, the painful wounds are still quite fresh.

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