Friday, May 27, 2016

The Real People: 1970s Documentary Series by and About Pacific Northwest Indians

I am often delighted and amazed by what pops up on YouTube. As  films are digitized, they often get loaded to YouTube. Old home movies, documentaries about regional history, clips of old TV shows, all once locked away on film reels housed in some basement or attic, become public again.

The Real People was a series of nine, 25-30 minute documentaries produced by and about Northwest native peoples in the mid-1970s. The movies were produced for KYRS-TV, which recently loaded them to their YouTube channel. Here they are:
  1. Real People: A season of grandmothers Ep. 1
  2. Real People: Circle of song #1 Ep. 2
  3. Real People: Circle of song #2 Ep. 3
  4. Real People: Mainstream Ep. 4
  5. Real People: Awakening Ep. 5
  6. Real People: Spirit of the wind Ep. 6
  7. Real People: Buffalo, blood, salmon, and roots Ep. 7
  8. Real People: Legend of the stick game Ep. 8
  9. Real People: Words of life, people of rivers Ep. 9
I wish I knew more about these films! All a quick search turns up is a few brief descriptions, such as this one from a 2001 book: "The Real People was an ambitious eight-part series developed in 1976 by KSPS-TV, a public television station in Spokane, Washington . . . . The series focused attention on lesser-known Indians located in the Northwest Plateau region of the United States. Among the tribes featured in the series were the Coeur D'Alene, Colville, Flathead, Kalispel, Kootenai, Nez Perce, and Spokane. George Burdeau was a consultant for The Real People series."

Burdeau turns out to be a veteran Native American filmmaker with a long list of credits, this series looks to be some of his earliest work.

Dear Readers, do any of you know more about these films?

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