Tamastslikt to screen films about Native American wartime contributions

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Choctaw code talkers World War I are shown.

PENDLETON -- Tam?°stslikt Cultural Institute, 47106 Wildhorse Boulevard, will screen documentary films on Friday, starting at 12:30 p.m. and ending by 5 p.m.

These films will be shown free of charge and the event is open to the public.

Veterans, military and their immediate family receive free admission to the exhibits in the museum at Tam?°stslikt Cultural Institute.

At 12:30 p.m., "Reel Injun," a 2009 film by Canadian native Neil Diamond will show. "Reel Injun" won a Peabody Award in 2011. It examines how Hollywood devolved the identity of many diverse tribal identities into one false "fabricated category" of American Indian.

Indian veterans have told how movie portrayals of Indians influenced military commanding officers to place Indian soldiers in harm's way.

Military officers took the movies to be true depictions of super warriors, possessed of extraordinary senses and reflexes, skills and abilities. The documentary itself is a romp through unreality and should be enjoyed for its comedic value.

At 2 p.m., "Choctaw Code Talkers," a 2010 release, will be shown. In 1918, while not yet citizens of the U.S., Choctaw members of the American Expeditionary Forces were asked to use their native language as a powerful tool against the German forces in World War I, setting a precedent for code-talking as an effective military weapon and establishing them as America's original code talkers.

At 3 p.m., "Way of the Warrior" examines the bravery of Native American veterans who served in WWI, WWII, the Korean War and the Vietnam War and came to grips with difficult post-war personal and societal conditions. Featured author Tom Holm proposes that Indians were disproportionately placed in dangerous positions such as leading point, doing long range reconnaissance, and parachuting behind enemy lines, because of the stereotypical "Indian scout" syndrome.

At 4 p.m., "True Whispers: The Story of the Navajo Code Talkers" is shown. Code Talkers, some 400 Navajo youths, were recruited to devise an unbreakable code in the language they had been forbidden to speak. "True Whispers" explores the complex story from the Indian point of view and reveals the pivotal role they played in helping the U.S. military forces in the Pacific.

Because the code remained top secret until 1967, their achievements went largely unrecognized.

Tamastslikt is open six days a week, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday to Saturday. It is closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Day. The Kinship Caf?© is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the days the museum is open. For more information, call 541-966-9748 or visit www.tamastslikt.org.

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