Vision Maker Media, in partnership with WORLD Channel, will present two documentary films Nov. 11 to honor and recognize Native American and Alaska Native military service men and women in observance of Veterans Day.
The films, “The People’s Protectors,” and “Choctaw Code Talkers,” feature stories from Native American veterans retelling their experiences in the military units they served. Both of these feature-length documentaries aim to educate audiences further about Native American and Alaska Native involvements, specifically during World War I and the Vietnam War. Both films also reflect on two themes of “commUNITY” and “home” that warmly illustrate the contributions and impact that Native American and Alaska Native veterans have had in two war histories.
Few audiences know the Choctaw story. “Choctaw Code Talkers” examines the role that the Choctaw fluent-speaking soldiers had in helping create an earlier end to World War I. In 1918, while Native Americans and Alaska Natives were not considered general citizens of the United States, paradoxically, Choctaw members of the U.S. American Expeditionary Forces were asked to use their Native language as a tool against the Germans in World War I.
“The People’s Protectors” focuses on the experiences of four Native American veterans during the Vietnam War and their struggles with the U.S. government, genocidal policies and government oppression.
To this day, Native Americans and Alaska Natives continue to serve in the armed forces at a higher rate than any other demographic. According to the Department of Defense, out of 1.2 million men and women on active duty in the U.S. military today, more than 23,000 of them are Native American and Alaska Native. Ironically, Native Americans and Alaska Natives are one of the most consistent demographics that risk their lives for a government that tried to eradicate their way of life.
Tune in to Vision Maker Media to watch these two documentaries about Native American and Alaska Native veterans. Follow the event on social media and use the hashtags: #commUNITY and #MyHomeisHere.
The People’s Protectors
In this 2019 film, four Native American veterans reflect on their experiences in the military during the controversial Vietnam War and how their communities helped them carry their warrior legacy proudly. From the Marine Corps to the Navy to the U.S. Army, veterans Valerie Barber, Art Owen, Sandy White Hawk, Vince Beyl, and civilian eyapaha (announcer) Jerry Dearly recall their memories of one of the most contentious wars in United States history.
Choctaw Code Talkers
In 1918, not considered citizens of the United States, Choctaw members of the U.S. American Expeditionary Forces were asked to use their native language as a powerful tool against the German Forces in World War I, setting a precedent for code talking as an effective military weapon and establishing them as America’s original Code Talkers.