Electronic Press Kit – Download PDF


“‘Fighting Indians’ is not only a good film, it’s an important one. Over the past 60-years of the no-mascot movement, the pro-mascot justifications have not changed and, while opponents always think they’re being original, they’re not. This film shows that predictable arc by focusing on race-based stereotypes and cultural appropriation at one school, as they are contested and as minds and hearts are changed. This is a rare glimpse of grassroots-level democracy at work to achieve a peaceful and just end of a longstanding slur against Native Peoples in Maine.

~Suzan Shown Harjo

“‘Fighting Indians’ is a powerful and moving film which captures the contentious landscape that communities navigate when retiring harmful Native “themed” school mascots while elevating tribal sovereignty and championing Native voices. The thorough and well-researched documentary presents the common arguments made by mascot supporters and debunks them with the proud voices of tribal leaders and scholars. NCAI supports further dissemination of the film and urges each community immersed in this issue to engage with the documentary and related research, grapple with the true effects of their mascot, and consult directly with the Tribal Nation(s) who have stewarded the land they presently occupy since time immemorial.

~National Congress of American Indians (NCAI)

“The most powerful film we have seen on the subject of using Native American people for sports mascots… unravels every excuse and argument made by those who falsely claim that their sports mascots are honoring Native peoples.” 

~Coalition of Natives and Allies

Audience Reactions

” I am grateful for the opportunity to have viewed this film. It was painful and hopeful, and also brought home the importance of marginalized groups supporting each other and helping to raise us all up. Thank you for this time together.”

“This film gives us a glimpse of the history, a history that should be taught in schools to make people understand that Native Americans are people and they are a part of OUR American history.”

This is such an important film. I needed to go at 7, but here I am.

“This film stirred something within me, and it made me realize just how much I hope that I leave this earth in a better place than i found it.”

“Beautifully done, tragically real.”

“I am still aching witnessing the vicious, twisted, and yet heartfelt racism of so many people exhibited in the film, that there are so many people who genuinely see racism as a part of their heritage. That racism has morphed to disguise itself as “honoring” people, even when those very people are saying that they aren’t being honored. There’s so much gaslighting and twisted logic, that is so much a part of the legacy of American whiteness. I feel shame, and wonder how I can build from that to gather others of European descent, which is our job to do as white and non-native people.”

“Overwhelming and powerful”

“I’m tremendously moved, saddened, and yet, hopeful. What other choice do we have, but to keep fighting, stay focused and remain hopeful? I have to go now…Enjoy the rest of your evening!”

“The film shows what ADVOCACY can accomplish.”

“I honestly had not considered the impact that mascots had before the screening, but it is heartbreaking to see the harm and disrespect to someone’s identity. I don’t understand how this has lasted so long.”

“An amazing film. I feel more impowered to keep fighting for change.”

“I was struck by how timely this film is and believe that it is important for everyone to see it and understand and remember.”

If you haven’t yet seen it, you must see “Fighting Indians.” It was deeply affecting and I cried hard the second time I saw it. When I saw it first time, at the world premier, I was simply overwhelmed. I will revisit this film again and again. Love, respect, and admire every single person here fighting for justice and a better way forward for us all.