The Fall 2021 Film Series from the Indigenous Advocacy and Student Support Team will continue with a discussion of the documentary The Peyote Road at 4:30 p.m. November 11 via Zoom.

Any interested member of the Illinois State University community is invited to attend. The Peyote Road, narrated by Peter Coyote, should be screened independently, and is available on YouTube.

The documentary addresses the United States Supreme Court “Smith” decision, which denied protection of First Amendment religious liberty to the sacramental use of Peyote for Indigenous people, one of the oldest tribal religions in the Western Hemisphere. The discussion’s facilitator, Dr. Susan Kalter, director of Native American Studies, noted the denial of such protections continues a long history of misinformation and incidents both in society and on campus that are “highly injurious to the Native American nations and communities of the Americas, who have ironically faced curtailment of their religious freedoms despite the fact that their own philosophies helped to teach the founders of the United States to incorporate religious freedom into the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.”

Past films:
October 5 – Our Spirits Don’t Speak English is a documentary film that examines the educational system that was designed to destroy Indian culture and tribal unity. The film provides a candid look at the Indian Boarding School system starting in 1879 through the 1960s, combining personal interviews with historical background. The film is available on Kanopy.

October 20 – Rumble: The American Indians Who Rocked the World explores how the Native American influence is an integral part of music history, despite attempts to ban, censor, and erase Indian culture in the United States. Rumble is available on Kanopy.