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 have 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.