Rock Valley College

Native American Heritage Month

Waila! Making the People Happy

Thursday, November 5 | 2 p.m. & 6 p.m.
2 p.m. Zoom Link | 6 p.m Zoom Link
Discussion Questions
Central European immigrants brought polka music to America in the mid-19th century but the people in the O'odham Indian nations in Arizona's Sonoran desert have made the mixture of accordions, saxophones and percussion all their own.

Taken from the word baila, which means dance in Spanish, Akimel and Tohono people have created waila, a form of music that embodies polka and Mexican tejano, cumbias and Norteno. And one family, the famous Joaquin Brothers, have taken waila (pronounced y-la) all the way to Carnegie Hall to show that "Indian music" is what culture and language make it to be.

Choctaw Code Talkers

Thursday, November 12 | 2 p.m. & 6 p.m.
2 p.m. Zoom Link | 6 p.m. Zoom Link
Discussion Questions

In 1918, not yet citizens of the United States, Choctaw members of the American Expeditionary Forces were asked by the government 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.

Black Indians: An American Story

Tuesday, November 17 | 2 p.m. & 6 p.m.
2 p.m. Zoom Link | 6 p.m. Zoom Link
Discussion Questions
"Black Indians: An American Story", narrated by James Earl Jones with music by the Neville Brothers, brings to light a forgotten part of America's past - the cultural and racial fusion of Native and African Americans. Many notable Black Indians include Crispus Attucks, Frederick Douglas, Langston Hughes, Tina Turner, Jesse Jackson, and, of course, James Earl Jones, a member of the Cherokee Honor Society. From the Atlantic Seaboard to the Western Plains, family memories and historical highlights reveal the indelible mark of this unique ancestry, and its continuing influence throughout the generations.

This film features many interviews of living, breathing Black Indians who share their personal thoughts, feelings, and outlook. As Gabrielle West (White Mountain Apache/Cree) said: "I did feel in between:" This production has won a CINE Golden Eagle Award, an Aurora Gold Award, and an OMNI Intermedia Award.

Rumble – The Indians Who Rocked the World

Thursday, November 19 | 2 p.m. & 6 p.m.
2 p.m. Zoom Link | 6 p.m. Zoom Link
Discussion Questions
This revelatory documentary brings to light the profound and overlooked influence of Indigenous people on popular music in North America. Focusing on music icons like Link Wray, Jimi Hendrix, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Taboo (The Black Eyed Peas), Charley Patton, Mildred Bailey, Jesse Ed Davis, Robbie Robertson, and Randy Castillo, RUMBLE: The Indians Who Rocked the World shows how these pioneering Native American musicians helped shape the soundtracks of our lives.

Native American Musicians You Should Know

In tandem with the PBS film RUMBLE, here are more indigenous musicians and groups that will rock your world. You can search for the playlist on Spotify!