DER Documentary

Our Lives in Our Hands

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by Harald Prins and Karen Carter
color, 49 min, 1986

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Our Lives In Our Hands examines the traditional Native American craft of split ash basketmaking as a means of economic and cultural survival for Aroostook Micmac Indians of northern Maine. This documentary of rural off-reservation Indian artisans aims to break down stereotypical images. Basketmakers are filmed at their craft in their homes, at work on local potato farms and at business meetings of the Basket Bank, a cooperative formed by the Aroostook Micmac Council. First person commentaries are augmented by authentic 17th century Micmac music.

"This documentary film, in which our voices are going to be heard and in which we show how we live, how we work, and ways we have chosen to continue the lives of our fore fathers and mothers, will make an important difference. The Aroostook Micmac Council has fully supported this project. The Micmac Indian community is thankful and proud to share our lives with all of you in the hope that this film contributes to a better understanding of who we really are."Chief Donald Sanipass

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Supported By Massachusetts Cultural Council National Endowment for the Humanities National Endowment for the Arts