The Beverly Rogers, Carol C. Harter Black Mountain Institute (BMI) and Nuwu Art will host a special presentation of the documentary film, “Lakota Nation vs. United States,” at The Beverly Theater on Sept. 28, the first of several collaborative events under the moniker “BMI at The Beverly Theater.”
The free event will begin with a reading by the writer and narrator of the film, Oglala Lakota poet and activist Layli Long Soldier. A conversation among Layli Long Soldier, BMI executive director Colette LaBouff, and chief judge for the Las Vegas Paiute Tribal Court Kostan R. Lathouris will take place after the film. Free tickets for the event can be reserved at The Beverly Theater’s website.
Co-directed by Jesse Short Bull and Laura Tomaselli, “Lakota Nation vs. United States” is a searing testament to the strength of the Oyate and a visually stunning rejoinder to the distorted image of a people long-shaped by Hollywood. The documentary uses a treasure trove of rich archival material, electrifying on-the-ground footage, and intimate interviews with veteran activists and young leaders such as NDN Collective founder Krystal Two Bulls and activist Candi Brings Plenty. “Lakota Nation vs. United States” is a lyrical and provocative testament to a land and a people who have survived removal, exploitation and genocide — and whose best days are yet to come.
“BMI recognizes the importance of Layli Long Soldier’s voice and witness, her poetry and her work in this film, and we feel privileged to host her and highlight this extraordinary documentary," says LaBouff. "We're also thrilled about this first collaboration between BMI, Nuwu Art, and The Beverly Theater to bring a screening and event that’s significant for Las Vegas audiences.”
“It is an honor to be able to introduce Layli Long Soldier at this BMI film presentation. For our Oglala Lakota community members, and the Native community at large, this event will be a celebrated moment in the literary arts,” says Fawn Douglas, head matriarch at Nuwu Art, BMI advisory board member, UNLV alum, and former UNLV Art and American Indian-Indigenous Studies instructor.
About the panelists
Long Soldier holds a BFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts and an MFA from Bard College. Her poems have appeared in POETRY Magazine, the New York Times, the American Poet, the American Reader, the Kenyon Review, BOMB, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of an NACF National Artist Fellowship, a Lannan Literary Fellowship, a Whiting Award, and was a finalist for the 2017 National Book Award. She has also received the 2018 PEN/Jean Stein Award, the 2018 National Book Critics Circle Award, a 2021 Academy of Arts and Letters Award for Literature, and the 2021 Michael Murphy Memorial Poetry Prize in the UK. She is the author of Chromosomory (Q Avenue Press, 2010) and WHEREAS (Graywolf Press, 2017). She is a mentor in the MFA Creative Writing Program at the Institute of American Indian Arts.
Lathouris, an enrolled tribal member and elected Tribal Council Member of the Chemehuevi Indian Tribe, received his Juris Doctor from the William S. Boyd School of Law at UNLV in 2015 and his Bachelor of Arts in political science, as a University Honors Scholar, from UNLV in 2009. His law practice, Lathouris Law PLLC, focuses on representing Tribal governments in asserting and defending their sovereign rights. He is also the chair of the Nevada Indian Commission and the Chief Judge for the Las Vegas Paiute Tribal Court.
LaBouff is executive director of Black Mountain Institute. She served as executive director of Taos Center for the Arts in Taos, New Mexico, from 2018-2022. The author of Mean (University of Chicago Press, 2008), a book of prose poems, and “Holdings,” a text-object (Container Press, 2019), she was poetry curator at Zocalo Public Square between 2009-2020.
Douglas is an Indigenous American artivist, mother, and enrolled member of the Las Vegas Paiute Tribe. Douglas is the head matriarch of Nuwu Art + Activism Studios and directs the Nuwu Art Gallery + Community Center located in the Historic Huntridge Neighborhood in the heart of Las Vegas. She is dedicated to the intersections of art, activism, community, education, culture, identity, place, and sovereignty. In 2022, she earned her MFA with presidential honors at UNLV. At UNLV, Douglas taught introductory courses in the Department of Art and American Indian & Indigenous Studies in the College of Liberal Arts and served with the Native American Student Association, American Indian Alliance, and the Native American Alumni Club.
About Black Mountain Institute
Black Mountain Institute at UNLV champions writers and storytellers through programs, fellowships and community engagement. From the brightest spot on the planet, BMI amplifies writing and artistic expression to connect us to each other in the Las Vegas Valley, the Southwest, and beyond. For more information about BMI, please visit the website.
About Nuwu Art
The Nuwu Art + Activism Center is a POC-owned and operated space in Las Vegas, Nevada, that works to uplift all communities through strengthening cultural knowledge and identity through the arts, activism, and education. We advocate for the equity of our respective and collective communities through an ongoing process of decolonization and celebration of our rich cultural heritages. For more information, visit the Nuwu Art website.