October 20, 2017 panel after “Promised Land” screening at UCLA. L to R: Aaron Jones, Chinook indigenous scholar; Tony Johnson, Chinwook Tribal Leader; Mechele Johnson, Chinwook Tribal Leader; Ken Workman, Duwamish councilmember; Vasant Salcedo, Co-director of Promised Land; Sarah Salcedo, Co-director of Promised Land; Rudy Ortega Jr., Tribal President, Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians (Tataviam); Carole Goldberg, Co-Director, Tataviam Federal Recognition Team; Duane Champagne, Co-Director, Tataviam Federal Recognition Team.

On October 20, 2017, the Tribe attended a screening of Promised Land and joined a panel at the University of California, Los Angeles.


The event, sponsored by the UCLA American Indian Studies Center, hosted tens of UCLA students across departments, representatives of local tribes, and members of the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians, its elders council, and Tribal government.Photo provided by the UCLA AIS Center Facebook.

The event was facilitated by Dr. Shannon Speed, Director of the AIS Center at UCLA, and warmly welcomed and opened by Julia Bogany, an elder and Cultural Officer for the San Gabriel Band of Mission Indians.

A screening of the incredible documentary ensued, which touched the hearts and triggered the minds of the many attendees. The documentary, Promised Land, is an award-winning social justice documentary that follows two tribes in the Pacific Northwest: the Duwamish and the Chinook, as they fight for the restoration of treaty rights they’ve long been denied. In following their story, the film examines a larger problem in the way that the government and society still looks at tribal sovereignty [see video embedded below].

Proceeding the documentary was a panel that focused on sovereignty issues and political recognition among the three tribes represented in the panel: the Chinook Indian Nation, Duwamish Tribe, and Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians.

The Panel discussion included the filmmakers Vasant and Sarah Salcedo; Rudy Ortega Jr., Tribal President, Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians; Duane Champagne and Carole Goldberg, Co-Directors of the Fernandeño Tataviam Federal Recognition Team; as well Chinook Indian Nation and Duwamish Tribe leaders.

Many of the issues addressed in Promised Land parallel those that the Tribe continues to overcome. It is recommended that anyone interested in learning more on tribal sovereignty issues and political recognition watches the documentary.


Group photo provided by the UCLA AIS Center Facebook

Promised Land Trailer from Tall Firs Cinema/Productions on Vimeo.