Oyate: Review – film reviews, interviews, features

Chase Iron Eyes Oceti Sakowin has ambitions to help the Oyate Nation eventually be seen equally by the United States. He plans to run for Congress and become the first Native American member who will bring about change and, hopefully, peace.

In 2016, a protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline turned violent, with many Native people arrested and abused by police, and Iron Eyes’ arrests took years to be reversed. Donald Trump coming to power certainly didn’t help things because he had investments in the pipeline, so as soon as he came in, he did all the good things President Obama did.

Oyate Chase is a documentary about Iron Eyes and his struggle to be heard as a spokesman for his people. It also talks about the history of the indigenous people and how they have been oppressed in many different ways since the time Columbus landed in the Americas.

Various issues such as native women being more at risk of physical and sexual abuse, what damage inequality can do to a young mind and directly on racism are all covered. In light of the Black Lives Matter movement, it also highlights how little is heard about the problems of indigenous peoples. Not just the issue of trying to be any sort of political power, but also of living in a country that was a part of it long before white people came to power.

Oyt takes no punches when talking about the problems faced by indigenous peoples and reminds anyone of how far they have come only to be pushed back time and again. However, there is hope and it lies in the next generation as shown with Chase’s daughter, tocatas,

However, despite a surprisingly sweet moment between them discussing racial politics, Tokata is shown to be just as fiery and passionate as his father.

Despite the tide turning in recent years, Oate deserves a reminder of just how far America has to go when it comes to racial equality. With Trump now in America’s immediate past, there may be hope that progress can be made once again

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