The topic of the next KIPCOR Film Series offering at Bethel College might hit a bit close to home for some Kansas sports fans.
The Kansas Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (KIPCOR) presents the third film in its 2018-19 series, More than a Word, which tackles the controversy over Native American mascots and nicknames, will be the third film of the 2018-19 Kansas Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution film series at 3 p.m. Feb. 17 in Krehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center on the Bethel campus.
More than a Word is centered on the NFL’s Washington Redskins (which the filmmakers, both enrolled members of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, prefer to write as “r*dskins”) – but there are comments from fans of the Kansas City Chiefs as well.
The 70-minute documentary traces how the word “redskins” evolved, from a term of racial derision and slander to the name of one of the NFL’s most beloved franchises.
It features the voices of Native American activists and scholars who place the issue in a wider context of Native American history and racial stereotyping, and examines the growing movement to change the name of the Washington NFL team.
The film is directed by brothers John and Kenn Little, who were born and raised in Denver and South Dakota.
John Little has a B.A. from South Dakota State University and an M.A. in history from the University of South Dakota. His goals are “to write Indigenous people into the historical narrative and help Native students into higher education.”
He is a doctoral student at the University of Minnesota, and his main interests are Native American military veterans, music and mascots, as well as cultural appropriation.
Kenn Little, who currently lives in Kansas City, Mo., has a B.A. in graphic design and new media from Full Sail University, Winter Park, Fla., and is an artist, writer, videographer and musician who often combines those abilities on his projects. He composed the original music for More than a Word.
The KIPCOR Film Series is free and open to the public, with a freewill offering taken to support the series and the work of KIPCOR.
There will be a talk-back session after the film with Edward Valandra, Ph.D., Sicangu Titunwan (Lakota), academic and professional studies development dean at St. Francis (S. Dak.) Indian School, and Sherman Padgett, principal of Wichita Heights High School and former principal of Wichita North High School (the “Redskins”).
“I’m really looking forward to having these two men attend the screening,” said Dan Wassink, KIPCOR senior mediator and coordinator of the KIPCOR Film Series, “because they represent both sides of this issue and should really engage and inform the audience from two very different perspectives.”