Ava Hamilton (Arapaho) was
a fellow at the Great Waters Institute for Journalism and Natural
Resources in 2006. Since 2005 she has taught video production
classes at Rough Rock High School on the Navajo Reservation. She
was a speaker at the 2005 Native American Journalists Association
Convention in Lincoln, Nebraska. Hamilton was a 2001 Producers
Academy Fellow, a 1998 National Video Resources Program for Media
Artists Fellow, and a 1998 High Country Institute for Journalism
and Natural Resources Fellow. She is the director of Everything
has a Spirit, which premiered at the 1994 Sundance Film Festival
and won the First Place Documentary Award at the 1994 American
Indian Film and Video Competition in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Hamilton is the president of the Native American Producers Alliance
and sits on the board of the Western American Indian Chamber.
She attended Southwestern State University in Weatherford, Oklahoma,
and the University of Colorado, Boulder. She trained as a filmmaker
at the Anthropology Film Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Hamilton
lives in Boulder, Colorado.
"I grew up at Arapahoe, Wyoming, on the Wind River Reservation.
My grandfathers Tom, Sr. and Grandpa Bill Shakespeare had some
influence on my interests, it seems. They would talk about making
those black-and-white Westerns and of being with the Wild West
Show. They were historians and writers and were very knowledgeable
about politics and current events. Years later, when I kept being
asked why I make documentaries, I would say that after having
screened films about us (American Indians) I knew I could tell
a better storyI realized what an impression my grandfathers
had made on me about history, storytelling and making film."
Screened by NMAI
Ava Hamilton - courtesy of Native American Rights Fund