Dawnland & Dear Georgina

May 27, 2020
8:00pm Eastern Time
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Join the makers of the Emmy Award winning film DAWNLAND for a special screening of the films DAWNLAND and DEAR GEORGINA. All you need is a device and good internet.

This special event is presented by the Upstander Project with co-sponsors Massachusetts Center for Native American Awareness and Mass Humanities.

For decades, child welfare authorities have been removing Native American children from their homes to save them from being Indian. In Maine, the first official “truth and reconciliation commission” in the United States begins a historic investigation. DAWNLAND goes behind-the-scenes as this historic body grapples with difficult truths, redefines reconciliation, and charts a new course for state and tribal relations.

In DEAR GEORGINA a Passamaquoddy elder journeys into an unclear past to better understand herself and her cultural heritage.

Join filmmaker Adam Mazo, producer Tracy Rector (Choctaw/Seminole), linguist Roger Paul (Passamaquoddy) and Upstander Project learning director Mishy Lesser for a Q & A moderated by Claudia Fox Tree (Arawak/Yurumein) after the films.

Learn more about the films and watch the trailer at upstanderproject.org

Note the screening begins with the 54-minute broadcast edition of DAWNLAND followed by DEAR GEORGINA


8:00 PM - 8:10 PM

Welcoming Videos and Film Introduction

8:11 PM - 8:55 PM

Dawnland Film (Emmy®-winning broadcast edition)

8:55 PM - 9:10 PM

Dear Georgina Film

9:10 PM - 10:00 PM

Film Team Q & A

Thank you to the following organizations for supporting the creation of DAWNLAND and DEAR GEORGINA:

W.K. Kellogg Foundation

Vision Maker Media

The Charles G Wright Endowment For Humanity

Mass Humanities

Morton-Kelly Charitable Trust

Bertha Foundation

Schwab Charitable Fund

The Mara & Ricky Sandler Foundation

Maine Humanities Council

The LEF Foundation

Maine Community Foundation

Maine Initiatives

Points North Institute

Good Pitch

Doc Society


and all our generous Kickstarter backers!

Video Descriptions

Dawnland Trailer 2018

NATIONAL BROADCAST: November 2018 on Independent Lens on PBS. Local listings here: www.pbs.org/independentlens/films/dawnland/ OFFICIAL WEBSITE: dawnland.org SCREENINGS: dawnland.org/screenings FACEBOOK: facebook.com/dawnlandmovie INSTAGRAM: instagram.com/dawnlandmovie TWITTER: twitter.com/DawnlandMovie SYNOPSIS: For decades, child welfare authorities have been removing Native American children from their homes to save them from being Indian. In Maine, the first official “truth and reconciliation commission” in the United States begins a historic investigation. DAWNLAND goes behind-the-scenes as this historic body grapples with difficult truths, redefines reconciliation, and charts a new course for state and tribal relations.

Abbe Museum Video

Blessing of the Creatures - MAINEUSA, sung by Vera Francis (Passamaquoddy).

We created this “Blessing of the Creatures'', to celebrate Earth Day and honor all the creatures of the Earth, including us humans. The Passamaquoddy Drum Song was reunited with the Passamaquoddy people through recordings that were made in 1890 on wax cylinders. It is held in reverence as one of the most ancient songs and offered here as a Blessing of the Creatures. This ‘Blessing of the Creatures’ begins a community performance project called ‘MAINEUSA: the history of Maine from the Ice Age till Now’. As soon as it is possible to gather together again safely, you are invited to join the performance...here in Maine...with puppets, music, dance and lots of stories. More to explore at www.maineusa.us. If you are able to contribute, please consider helping an organization that needs your support. Donations to Wabanaki Health and Wellness (www.wabanakihw.org) can be made at bit.ly/3cFFApV. This now-virtual Blessing of the Creatures was created by Vera Francis, (Passamaquoddy) and theater artist Marty Pottenger. A project of arts nonprofit Art At Work, MAINEUSA was scheduled to premiere in July 2020, but has been postponed due to Covid-19. We are grateful for the support of our sponsors - 350 Maine and Sierra Club Maine - and our partners, volunteers, the City of South Portland, Maine Art Commission, Maine Bicentennial Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts Our Town program.

Dawnland 54mins (OVEE Screening)

Dear Georgina (OVEE Screening)

Thank You for Watching Dear Georgina

130 minutes


  • Upstander Project


  • Claudia Fox Tree

    Professional educator, Claudia Fox Tree, M.Ed. (Arawak/Yurumein) teaches courses and workshops on transforming curriculum and culturally responsive teaching practices. She also leads conversations “un-erasing” Native American First Nations People (FNP). She gives voice to First Nation experiences (past and present) and asks allies and co conspirators to come on the journey with her. Her presentation features discussions on identity, culture, contributions, stereotypes, and historical inaccuracies.

  • Tracy Rector

    Tracy Rector (Choctaw/Seminole) is the impact producer for Dawnland and the Upstander Project. She is a mixed race filmmaker, curator, community organizer, and co-founder of Longhouse Media. She has made over 400 short films, and is currently in production of her fifth feature documentary. Her work has been featured on Independent Lens, Cannes Film Festival, ImagineNative, National Geographic, Toronto International Film Festival, and in the Smithsonian’s Museum of the American Indian. She is a current Firelight Media Lab Fellow, WGBH Producer Fellow, and Sundance Institute Lab Fellow. Raised in Seattle and Albuquerque, Tracy lives in Seattle and sits as a City of Seattle Arts Commissioner.

  • Roger Paul

    Roger Paul was born in Motahkomikuk to an unwed Passamaquoddy mother who crossed over to the spirit world. His Maliseet father knew he had to disperse the children to protect them from the colonizing authorities. While growing up on various reservations throughout Maine and New Brunswick, he was shuttled between the communities to protect him. His older brothers and sister were not as fortunate. They were taken and sent to the residential school at Shubenecadie. Roger grew up speaking the local Wabanaki dialects and began learning English around the age of five. He soon realized the public’s lack of understanding and connection to the indigenous peoples and especially those of northeastern North America. He has since chosen a path to help educate anyone interested, about the importance of indigenous Wabanaki People and their vital role in the communities in which they are ever-present. Roger is presently a masters student at MIT and working as a Wabanaki Languages teacher with the Penobscot Nation, the University of Maine at Orono, and the University of Southern Maine. He takes an active and diligent role towards the preservation, continuing growth, and prosperity of the Wabanaki language, culture, and people.

  • Mishy Lesser

    Mishy Lesser, Ed.D., is the learning director for the Upstander Project and Education Fellow at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center at the University of Connecticut. She is co-director of the Upstander Academy, a weeklong professional learning experience for teachers and museum educators that focuses on genocide and decolonization and the skills of upstanders. Currently Dr. Lesser spends much of her time researching and writing the teachers' and viewers' guides for Dear Georgina and Bounty. Mishy authored the twelve-lesson Dawnland Teacher's Guide to help students explore the relationship between the taking of the land and the taking of the children, and the four-lesson Coexist Teacher’s Guide to promote learning about the complexity of reconciliation in post-genocide Rwanda. She is a Circle Keeper and has been featured on WBUR (Boston) and PRI/BBC’s The World. Mishy was a Fulbright Scholar in Ecuador and spent 12 years learning and working in the Andes.

  • Adam Mazo

    Adam Mazo is an Emmy® award-winning filmmaker and the director of the Upstander Project. He co-founded the Upstander Project with Mishy Lesser in 2009. He is the co-director and producer of the Emmy® award-winning feature-length film, Dawnland (Independent Lens, Woods Hole Jury Award for Best Documentary 2018), First Light (Camden International Film Festival 2016) and Dear Georgina (Camden International Film Festival 2019). Adam also directed and produced Coexist (WORLD Channel, Africa Movie Academy Award Nominee 2014). He is also the co-director and producer of the upcoming short Bounty. His films have been broadcast on domestic and international television, programmed at film festivals and international conferences, and screened at universities, middle and high schools, where they are also often used in curricula. He is originally from Minnesota, graduated from the University of Florida, and now lives with his wife and sons in the territory of the Massachusett people in the place known as Boston.

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The views and opinions expressed in this online screening are those of the presenters and participants, and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of ITVS, public broadcasting, or any entities hosting the screening.