CNAY staff attended Good Pitch New York 2016 – a project of BRITDOC in partnership with the Ford Foundation’s JustFilms Initiative and the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program. The event included documentary filmmakers, leading policymakers, foundations and philanthropists, innovative platforms and brands, and committed community organizers and NGOs. GoodPitch assembles these groups and individuals to think creatively about how to collaborate and tackle the most challenging and urgent social and environmental justice issues of our time.
During the event, seven filmmaking teams pitched their documentaries and corresponding outreach and impact campaigns to help educate and address the issues they tackle in their films. Dawnland, one of the seven films included in the event, tells the inside story of the historic, first of its kind, Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Maine. The individuals—both Native and non-Native—who boldly and publicly came forward to share their stories of survival, guilt and loss, are incredibly inspiring as they illuminate the ongoing crisis of Indigenous child removal in the United States that continues to this day.
CNAY participated in an on-stage roundtable, where we provided feedback on proposed outreach efforts, commented on the film’s intersections with our work, and brainstormed ways that we can help amplify promotion of both the film and outreach campaign. The makers of Dawnland aim to build a broad coalition that brings together educators, students, Native peoples, and all people for whom racial justice is a primary priority. They hope to strengthen truth and racial healing processes across the United States and support decolonization efforts.
While the outreach and impact campaign is in the beginning development stages, the creators of Dawnland are looking to including listening circles, similar to the CNAY Native youth roundtables, where Native and non-Native youth can gather to watch pieces of the film and discuss how the issues portrayed relate to their own life experiences. These efforts support the goal of using collective racial healing can to help move the country forward towards reconciliation.