American Indian Film Institute
The American Indian Film Institute (AIFI) is a non-profit media arts center founded in 1979 to foster understanding of the culture, traditions and issues of contemporary Native Americans. American Indians have had an uneasy relationship with the media industry since the origins of film over 100 years ago. The quintessential 20th century art form has created and perpetuated enduring stereotypes that are at best tedious, and at worst profoundly erosive to the self-image of generations of Native Americans. Yet the ability of this art form to weaken and erode is matched by its power to heal and strengthen. In film we find a tool to preserve and record our heritage, and a vehicle for Indians and non-Indians alike to "unlearn" damaging stereotypes and replace them with multi-dimensional images that reflect the complexity of Native peoples.