BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT - American Indian Film Festival | LIVING EARTH VIRTUAL FESTIVAL - Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American IndianNative American Food Sovereignty • Food Insecurity • Indigenous Studies • Hunting • Life on the Reservation
Date of Completion: 2020 | Run Time: 20 minutes | Language: English & Crow with subtitles | Captions: Yes | Includes: Transcript & Study Guide | Director & Producer: Tsanavi Spoonhunter
CROW COUNTRY: OUR RIGHT TO FOOD SOVEREIGNTY is a 20-minute documentary that enlightens its audience to one tribe’s struggle to retain food security. The Crow Indian Reservation is the largest reservation in Montana, encompassing 2.2 million acres of land. There are approximately 8,000 Crow (Apsáalooke) tribal members who live there. In 2017, the Crow Agency laid off 1,000 of its 1,300 employees due to federal government cutbacks, ultimately straining tribal operations and leaving many families struggling to make ends meet. In 2019, the only grocery store on the reservation burnt down, and the owners are not planning to rebuild. For the Crow, the federal and tribal governments are both failing its people.
The Crow Tribe— like most tribes— have been reliant on federal, tribal and non profit food distribution centers. As a result, tribal nations across the country are exploring the idea of ‘food sovereignty,’ the inherent right of a community to identify its own food systems. Returning to traditional and nutritious foods has been shown to be an effective way to restore Native food systems and create employment. However, restrictions on ancestral hunting grounds are preventing tribal members from providing for themselves and their families. CROW COUNTRY tells the stories of three Apsáalooke tribal members: a journalist; an elder; and a hunter, as they try to address these issues, and focuses on their resilience despite the hardships that they face.
Educational Media Reviews Online (EMRO) | Reviewed by Gisèle Tanasse, University of California Berkeley
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED "Crow Country: Our Right to Food Sovereignty is perfect for courses focused on Native American sovereignty, and for food security focused classes in political science, rural and urban planning, legal studies, social welfare, and poverty studies. This wonderful short film is a testament to the power of documentary film by Native filmmakers about Native sovereignty and is highly recommended for all libraries."
Director Tsanavi Spoonhunter on documenting food insecurity on the Crow Indian Reservation | KUNR | ThisIsReno
Changing representation through documentary film | Nevada Today, UNR
Documenting food insecurity, sovereignty | Indian Country Today
Award-Winning Documentary Explores Native Food Sovereignty On The Crow Reservation | Wyoming Public Media
Best Documentary Short | 2020 American Indian Film Festival (AIFF)
Best Made in Montana Film | 2020 Montana International Film Festival (MINT)
Best Student Documentary Short | 2020 Indie Short Fest (ISF-LA)
Finalist Best Short by a BIPOC Filmmaker | 2021 Next Generation Indie Film Awards
Quarter Finalist ALL Films | 2021 Female Eye Film Festival (FeFF)
Official Selection | 2020 NewFilmmakers Los Angeles (NFMLA)
Official Selection | 2020 Red Nation International Film Festival & Awards (RNCI)
Official Selection | 2021 Cordillera International Film Festival
Alaska Airlines Domestic Flights | 2021-2022 Alaska Airlines
Friday Night Film Series | 2021 The Redford Center
Living Earth Virtual Festival | 2021 Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian