The Brattleboro Rotary Club is raising money to help upgrade the radio station KILI, a non-profit radio station broadcasting to the Lakota people on the Pine Ridge, Cheyenne River, and Rosebud Indian Reservations, part of the Great Sioux Nation in South Dakota.
On Sunday, March 2, 2014, from 4-8PM at the New England Youth Theatre, the Brattleboro Rotary Club will be sponsoring the fifth annual “International Film & Food Festival,” with proceeds benefiting KILI which serves 30,000 people on the three reservations and seeks to preserve Native American culture and instill pride in the peoples' unique heritage.
KILI (90.1 FM) started broadcasting in 1983 as the first American Indian-owned radio station in the United States.
According to Brattleboro Rotary Club immediate past president Martin Cohn, the inaugural Brattleboro Rotary Club International Film & Food Festival (IF&FF) raised monies for Rotary International’s Polio Plus, a project to help eradicate polio in the world. The second and third IF&FFs raised monies to build two adobe brick homes for poor families in San Miguel de Allende through a wonderful organization, Casita Linda.
Cohn said, “After learning about the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota through an investigative report on ABC’s 20/20 TV show, we decided that our attention was going to be directed to helping improve the lives of the residents in Pine Ridge.”
“So far, we have sent sewing machines, refurbished laptop computers, and money for an informative calendar. With proceeds from last year’s film and food festival, we were able to buy requested equipment to upgrade KILI Radio, a vital communications channel on the reservation. This year we hope to buy a new soundboard for the station, ” Cohn explained. “
In addition to screening a critically acclaimed documentary, “Urban Rez”, and an award winning feature length film, “Pow Wow Highway”, the event will feature a Native American-themed dinner prepared by local chefs Steven Reynolds and Tristen Toleno.
Urban Rez explores the controversial legacy and modern-day repercussions of the Urban Relocation Program (1952-1973), the greatest voluntary upheaval of Native Americans during the 20th century. During the
documentary, dozens of American Indians representing tribal groups from across the West recall their first-hand experiences with relocation, including the early hardships, struggles with isolation and racism. Interviewees also speak about the challenges of maintaining one's own tribal traditions — from language to hunting — while assimilating into the larger society. Actor, musician and Oglala Lakota member Moses Brings Plenty narrates this insightful film about this seldom-told chapter in American history.
Pow Wow Highway is a 1989 comedy-drama road movie which won the Filmmakers Trophy at the Sundance Film Festival and Best Picture, Director, and Actor awards at the Native American Film Festival.
The menu includes: New Native Fry Bread, Summer Squash Bread, Grandma Connie’s Buffalo Feast, Buffalo Stew, Three Sisters Vegetables, Blueberry Wojapi, Sioux Indian Pudding, Ice Cream, Red Sassafras Tea and Coffee.
Tickets to the Brattleboro Rotary Club’s International Film & Food Festival, which can be purchased at Vermont Artisan Designs & Gallery 2 (106 Main Street, Brattleboro), cost $25 each.
Rotary International is a 105-year old organization of business and professional leaders united worldwide to provide humanitarian service and help build goodwill and peace in the world. There are approximately 1.2 million Rotarians who are members of some 31,000 Rotary clubs in more than 165 countries. For more information visit www.rotary.org.
The Brattleboro Rotary Club, founded in 1950, is an active community service club of 80 members who engage in community and human service projects locally and internationally.
If you are interested in learning more about the Brattleboro Rotary Club or the fifth annual International Film & Food Festival, visit the Brattleboro Rotary Web site at brattlebororotaryclub.org