As a filmmaker and storyteller that grew up on the Navajo reservation, I am deeply passionate about the idea of having Natives reclaim our stories and telling them on our own accord. In this docu-series, I want to showcase the human rights issues on and around the Navajo Nation and how the tribe deals with these issues both with limited resources while incorporating tribal teachings and traditions.
My name is Megan Wilson, and I was born and raised on the Navajo reservation. I didn't view my upbringing and heritage as anything but "normal" until I had my first encounter with racism as a teenager, and that was only the beginning.
Once I left home for college for the first time, that was when I was confronted with the lingering ideas that non-Natives have of us--living in teepees, wearing headdresses and traditional regalia all the time, making dreamcatchers, etc. It wouldn't be until years later that I realized the importance of having us tell our own stories in our way and sharing that with the world. We are more than just relics of history, we are living, breathing people who are alive and navigating life in a place like the United States, where this land is our home but we've been made to feel like it is not.
There are so many things happening on the reservation (Rez for short), and with this docu-series, I want to highlight the work that the tribe is doing to care for its members in the best way possible. With federal, state, and tribal laws and limited resources being taken into account, the tribe must be creative in how to handle these situations. Whether it's someone having a problem at a border town or looking at the state of the Navajo Nation's lack of resources and support from the US government, we want to explore all different types of human rights issues, both current and going back decades.
People both on and off the Rez still don't know so much about how we handle human rights issues and I feel a sense of responsibility in sharing these stories of my people with the world. We have had people tell our stories for us many times in the past, and I want to take control of our narrative and share it while honoring the traditions, histories, and people involved.
Money raised from this campaign will go towards producing the pilot episode so that we can use that to begin pitching this story to networks and investors so that we can bring it to life. Here is what is part of producing that pilot:
- Equipment. We need to purchase cameras, audio equipment, and lighting to produce this in the best quality we can and that the stories deserve.
- Permits and fees. We have to acquire permits to film on the Rez and need to be able to pay for transportation and food fees for the crew and cast. Besides myself, our crew will consist entirely of people of color in every phase of production.
- Invest. By investing in this campaign, you are directly contributing to a Native filmmaker and our ability to tell our stories. Representation and equity for marginalized people is more important than ever in this cultural climate, and your monetary investment will play a huge role in that.
- Share. Help us turn this idea into a movement by spreading the word and sharing my story. Tell your friends, your family, share it with your social media followers. It's a free and easy way that you can help us accomplish this goal.