Indigenous river history explored in new film

Tonight at BlueWater Cinemas, a new 37-minute documentary film will be screened at 7:30pm commemorating 150 years of the Colorado River Indian Tribes and highlighting the indigenous history and culture of the area.

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The CRIT reservation was established in 1865, a year after the Mohave Chief Irataba represented his people on a visit to Washington D.C. and New York, meeting President Abraham Lincoln and others in the United States Government. At that time, the ancestral lands of the Mohave tribe encompassed a large region of what is today the southwestern United States.

The film, produced for the CRIT Mohave Elders Committee by Hemet Productions, outlines how the indigenous people of the Parker area lived in precolonial times, who Chief Irataba and his nephew Chief Manataba were, and the origins of the CRIT reservation.

Rare interviews with CRIT elders are included, in which they tell the filmmakers about the threat of losing their native language, and losing the songs that have been passed orally from generation to generation. With fewer and fewer fluent Mohave speakers left, there are less opportunities to teach the language to younger people. The film shows footage from language classes taught by Sheldon Swick, a Mohave elder who passed away during the film’s production.

The CRIT reservation today incorporates four tribes: the Mohave, Chemehuevi, Hopi and Navajo. Many of the film’s interviewees expressed optimism about the future for the CRIT people, and talked about a recent resurgence of interest from younger tribal members in birdsinging, dancing and the other traditions of their respective tribes.

“The Marking of a Milestone” will be screened in four screens simultaneously at BlueWater Cinemas in Parker, AZ tonight at 7:30pm. It is open to anyone and everyone and admission is free. The following weekend, the CRIT Fair & Expo will bring CRIT together with the wider community – see HERE for details.

8 comments

  1. April Gallup

    I would love to see that, but I’m not near the river right now. Will it be available to view online later?

  2. Parker Live Updates

    I believe so! Details to follow.

  3. ‘Indian Policy’ has now been brought down on the American people, and the American people are the new Indians of the 21st Century. – Russell Means

  4. Maria Armstrong

    Michelle C Wolf for your kids.

  5. You can trust the government
    Just ask an Indian!

  6. I recognize there are 4 tribes here on the CRIT reservation. Everything should be split up into 4 portions amongst the 3 other tribes. (Navajo, Chemehuevi and Hopis.) The Mohaves. are doing nepotism on a mass scale and they are up hogging up all the resources and excluding the other 3 tribes. Chairman Dennis Patch is making sure that he keeping everyone fighting and hating each others. If it wasn’t for the Navajo’s, Chemehuevi’s and Hopi’s. There wouldn’t of have been any Colorado River Indian Tribes. In 1942 during the time of the war with the Japanese. They had the Internment camp in Poston and The Federal Government said they needed to bring up the population of the Indian tribes here to make it a Reservation. So they brought in these 3 other tribes and that’s how CRIT came into being. Because there wasn’t enough Mohaves here. CRIT Chairman Dennis Patch wouldn’t admit to that when I confronted him with that question at a monthly peoples meeting? I see this documentary Movie thing as another ploy of CRIT Government Propaganda. They are trying to brain wash everyone. All the billboards and banners with the that chief irataba’s head plastere everywhere is becoming real annoying to me. They should have made a logo with all 4 tribes not just only the Mohaves. As far as I am concerned, This Dennis Patch and his puppet tribal council Government think they can supersede Federal law and State law and that they can make up there own rules and do anything HE wants. They systematically continue to violate A lot of peoples civil rights.

  7. Dear Fred,
    ALL government ALWAYS violates your rights, less government equals more freedom!!! The smaller the better!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Mohaves have been here since the time of immemorial and the rest of those tribes have their own reservations the one in Parker is shared but accomidating to the Mohaves because we are native to the river but I guess u are entitled to your opinion cause that is what u are stating and not facts

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