Lakota Nation vs. United States

Monday, October 10, 2022 7pm – 9:30pm

TICKETS: Suggested donation $10. Available at

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516 ARTS, in partnership with The City of Albuquerque Arts + Culture Department, presents Albuquerque’s premiere screening of Lakota Nation vs United States at the KiMo Theatre on Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Monday, October 10 at 7pm. The newly- released documentary film tells the story of the Lakota Nation’s ongoing battle to regain control of the Black Hills, sacred land stolen in violation of numerous treaties. The film is directed by Jesse Short Bull (Oglala Sioux) and Laura Tomaselli. It is written and narrated by acclaimed poet Layli Long Soldier (Oglala Lakota), with music by award-winning composer Raven Chacon (Diné), and is produced by Phil Pinto. The film made its debut at the Tribeca Film Festival and was recently screened at Michael Moore’s Traverse City Film Festival. Jesse Short Bull, Laura Tomaselli and Layli Long Soldier will introduce the film in-person and Long Soldier will read from her work at the Albuquerque screening.

The life-giving land known as the Black Hills is a sacred place as the birthplace of the Lakota people, and it has shaped thought, identity, and philosophy for the Očéti Šakówiŋ since time immemorial. With the arrival of the first Europeans in 1492, the sacred land has been the site of conflict between the people it has nurtured and the settler state seeking to exploit and redefine it in its own image. Beginning with the Indian Wars of the 1800s, during which the U.S. Army was continually on the losing-end against Sioux and Arapaho warriors, and leading to the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868 — one of many broken treaties separating the Oyate from their land — the Black Hills have witnessed a greed-driven gold rush, the systematic erasure of its original inhabitants, and the creation of a most ironic shrine to white supremacy, Mount Rushmore.

This powerful new documentary is a searing testament to the strength of the Oyate and a visually stunning rejoinder to the distorted image of a people long-shaped by Hollywood. Using a treasure trove of rich archival material, electrifying on-the- ground footage, and intimate interviews with veteran activists and young leaders such as NDN Collective president and CEO Nick Tilsen and founder Krystal Two Bulls, Lakota Nation vs United States is a lyrical and provocative testament to a land and a people who have survived removal, exploitation, and genocide — and whose best days are yet to come.

Rachelle Pablo (Diné), Curator at 516 ARTS, says, “Lakota Nation vs United States is a vessel that empowers the voice and agency of the Lakota people. The hard truth of storytelling is a masterpiece articulated by Layli Long Soldier’s poetry, Indigenous scholarly research, and activism, including a rich and thematic soundtrack by Pulitzer Prize-winner Raven Chacon.”

The event is followed by a reception for ticket holders with special guests Jesse Short Bull, Laura Tomaselli, Phil Pinto, and Layli Long Soldier across the street at 516 ARTS.