Home Video StoreShopping Cart
Imagining the Indian: The Fight Against Native American Mascoting
Directed by Aviva Kempner & Ben West

95 minutes, color, 2022

Watch on Apple TV



Directed by Aviva Kempner (The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg) and Cheyenne filmmaker Ben West, IMAGINING THE INDIAN is a comprehensive look at the movement to eradicate the words, images, and gestures that many Native Americans and their allies find harmful, demeaning, and offensive.

The film examines mascoting issues through archival footage and interviews with those involved in the fight. It shows how teams such as Kansas City's football team and Atlanta's baseball team have refused to consider a change and brings a new attention and urgency to the issue.

Watch the Trailer


"ONE OF THE BEST MOVIES OF 2023!" - The Washington Post

"A brilliant, powerful, provocative and evocative exploration and deconstruction of the depiction of North America’s Indigenous people in popular culture." - Ed Rampell, CounterPunch

"Timely...the film offers a succinct, if wide-ranging, view of how the 'Indian,' in popular imagination, was created through myth, stereotype and erasure." - Adrian Horton, The Guardian

"The movement to get sports leagues, intransigent owners, and rabid fans to grasp the offensiveness in Native-themed team names, images and longstanding gestures – and harder yet, scrap them entirely – is the central subject of Ben West’s and Aviva Kempner’s pulsatingly argued, wide-ranging, and occasionally seething documentary. Viewers afterward will hopefully think twice before casually tossing around the slur representing Washington D.C.’s football team until just last year. But learning that over 2,000 high schools across the country still using Native-themed mascots – all those R-words, Indians, Chiefs and Braves – gives the viewer a sense of the deep entrenchment for this disgraceful slice of symbolized history, which has been shown in studies referenced in the documentary to directly impact the mental health of young Native peoples everywhere." - Los Angeles Times


Film website


Rotten Tomatoes

You Might Also Like