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LADONNA HARRIS: INDIAN 101 30-day challenge!'s video poster

The definitive documentary about "the first lady of Indian country" and one of America's most trailblazing women. Read more

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This project was successfully funded on July 8, 2011.

The definitive documentary about "the first lady of Indian country" and one of America's most trailblazing women.

About this project

LaDonna Harris: Indian 101 is a documentary film about Comanche activist LaDonna Harris, who led an extensive life of Native political and social activism and is now passing on her traditional cultural and leadership values to a new generation of emerging Indigenous leaders around the world.

Harris' efforts as a trailblazer began when President Lyndon Johnson assigned her to educate the executive and legislative branches of the U.S. government on the unique role of American Indian tribes and their relationship with the federal government. This course was affectionately called “Indian 101” and was taught to members of Congress and other federal agencies for over 35 years.

In addition to her work in civil rights, world peace, the environment and women’s rights, Harris is best known for introducing landmark legislation that set the tone for greater civil rights in the U.S,, including land return claims to the Taos Pueblo Tribe and native tribes of Alaska and returning federal recognition to the Menominee Tribe.

Held in the highest regard by her colleagues for countless social and historic achievements, Harris is now passing her knowledge to a new generation of emerging Indigenous leaders not just in the U.S. but all over the globe. Her latest offering is a cutting-edge program that trains Native professionals to incorporate their own tribes’ traditional values and perspectives into their work while building a global Indigenous coalition.

LaDonna Harris: Indian 101 explores Harris’ achievements, the personal struggles that led her to become a voice for Native people and her contemporary work to reshape Indian Country in America and abroad. A longer trailer of the film can be viewed on the film's official website,

A Plea to all Supporters and Donators:

Friends, Family and Supporters, my hope is to gain at least half the necessary finishing funds we need to complete LaDonna Harris: Indian 101 during our 30-day challenge. My great aunt & mentor LaDonna Harris has been bravely fighting cancer and our deepest wish is to achieve our goals so that “Mama LaDonna” (as she is known by many) can see and enjoy the fruits and labors of all her amazing work in this film while witnessing some of the impact it will have for indigenous communities worldwide.

The more you give, the faster we can cover the film’s completion expenses and get it audiences around the U.S. & the world in celebration of this great woman’s life! Every donation from the smallest to the largest will help gain national & worldwide attention for the important work LaDonna is doing in Indian Country and abroad.

You can increase your pledge at any time. All donation amounts are kept private. And anyone from anywhere in the world can donate, from Australia to Africa to America! ALL donations will help this film get finished and seen.

GREAT NEWS: A portion of all donations is tax deductible! Just let us know your name and address when donating and you’ll support a great film while also earning a great reward for your donation, whether it's a tax write-off or one of the wonderful gifts being offered by our partners! If our goal isn’t met before the deadline, we don't receive any of the pledges and your credit or debit card will not be charged. But please don’t let this happen—I know you can help us make a success out of our 30-day challenge!

Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Julianna Brannum, writer/director/producer


Joshua Bradford, composer
World-renowned performer, vocalist and musician Joshua Bradford will be providing the soundtrack for "LaDonna Harris: Indian 101" in spectacular fashion. This inimitable artist - most known for his work with bands RevCo and Ministry as well as acts like Jim Rose Circus Sideshow - is collaborating with indigenous musicians from all over North America to put together a compelling, incredibly original compilation of music melding traditional native sounds with modern styles.

Michael Mahsetky, advisor

Michael Mahsetky has worked closely with LaDonna Harris in Washington D.C. for the past 35 years, lobbying for various congressional bills alongside LaDonna. Mr. Mahsetky, Director of Legislative Affairs for the Indian Health Service (IHS). He began his career with the IHS in 1988 as Chief of the Legislative Branch in the Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Legislation at the IHS Headquarters. Before joining the IHS legislative team, he served seven years as a staff attorney with the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. From 1969 to 1980, Mr. Mahsetky worked in the Dallas, Texas area before entering law school. He helped establish the Dallas Inter-Tribal Health Center and later served as its director. He also served on numerous health and human rights advocacy organizations such as the Greater Dallas Human Relations Commission and the Goals for Dallas Task Force on Family. In 1978, he was recognized as one of ten outstanding citizens of Dallas for his contributions to improving the lives of Indian people. The State of Texas also recognized him for his work in children’s health care. He also served on the Board of Directors for the American Indian Health Care Association and presented testimony in Congress on the need for health care funding for urban Indians. Later he worked on the first authorization of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act. While living in Dallas, through his love of the arts, he helped establish the Dallas Minority Repertory Theater and later served as its Executive Director.

Stanley Nelson, advisor
The Emmy Award-winning producer and director of The Murder of Emmett Till, Stanley Nelson received a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 2002. In addition to A Place of Our Own, three of his other films have been selected for competition at the Sundance Film Festival: The Murder of Emmett Till was selected for screening at Sundance 2003, winning a Special Jury Award; Marcus Garvey: Look for Me in the Whirlwind was a 2001 Sundance selection; The Black Press: Soldiers without Swords garnered the 1999 Sundance Freedom of Expression award as well as a coveted duPont-Columbia Silver Baton, Best Documentary at the San Francisco Film Festival and an Emmy nomination for Best Historical Program. With his wife, Marcia Smith, Nelson is co-founder of Firelight Media, a New York City-based independent non-profit production company dedicated to telling stories of people, places, cultures and issues that are underrepresented in the mainstream media.

Bird Runningwater, advisor
Working as Director for the Sundance Institute's Native American and Indigenous Program, Bird Runningwater is responsible for nurturing the dramatic and documentary film projects of Native filmmakers. He also serves as a programmer for Sundance Film Festival. A past Woodrow Wilson Fellow, Runningwater has served as the executive director of the Fund of the Four Directions, and as a program associate in the Ford Foundation’s Media, Arts and Culture Program. Runningwater currently serves as an advisor to Film Independent’s Project Involve Program and as a creative consultant to WGBH’s landmark series We Shall Remain. Most recently he was featured and profiled in The Color of Our Future, a book written by Political Commentator Farai Chideya.

Lisa Y. Garibay, marketing/community building consultant
Lisa has produced & consulted on award-winning movies including Robbing Peter, which premiered at the 2004 Los Angeles Film Festival and was nominated for four Independent Spirit Awards; the groundbreaking graffiti documentary Bomb It by acclaimed experimental filmmaker Jon Reiss; and Children in No Man's Land, tackling the issue of undocumented children crossing the U.S.-Mexico border alone. Garibay worked with Film Independent (FIND) for more than a decade, overseeing corporate marketing, fundraising, programming and publicity for the organization’s year-round activities as well as its two high-profile annual events, the Los Angeles Film Festival and the Spirit Awards. Garibay also managed Film Independent’s Project:Involve minority mentorship program to increase diversity within the film industry. In 2002, Garibay created LARGetc. to provide effective grassroots marketing, publicity and creative business strategy for independent artists, companies and nonprofits spanning the globe. She is also an award-winning journalist who contributes to Back Stage, Dazed & Confused, Filmmaker Magazine, The San Francisco Bay Guardian and many others. The Sundance Institute awarded her an Arts Writing Fellowship for her work creating, an alternative outlet for artists and journalists to have intelligent discussions about their work, including filmmakers Pedro Almódovar, Michel Gondry, Walter Salles and Lars von Trier as well as musicians Gustavo Santaolalla, Phil Selway (Radiohead), Peter Murphy and Dave Navarro, to name a few.


Limited edition print of LaDonna Harris photographed in full regalia

Limited edition print by Joan Hill, officially titled "Untitled"

Original artwork by Thomas Poolaw (Kiowa) entitled "See...I told you"

Original artwork by Steven Judd (Kiowa/Choctaw) entitled "Lego My Land"

Original artwork by Thomas Poolaw (Kiowa) entitled "Four Feathers"

Original artwork by Steven Judd (Kiowa/Choctaw) entitled "Bottle Cap Series"

Original artwork by Steven Judd (Kiowa/Choctaw) entitled "Jim Thorpe"

Autographed copies of Harris' autobiography A Comanche Life

Joshua Bradford's album Simple Shelter - All Is One

CD by the band Stayte, featuring Joshua Bradford


  • A portion of every donation is tax-deductible according to U.S. tax laws. You will receive a letter (via U.S. mail) confirming your donation as well as the amount that you can deduct on your 2012 tax return. For instance, if you donated $100 and elected to receive a DVD of the film as your reward, your tax-deductible amount will be $75 ($100 - value of DVD).

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  • We are able to offer a tax deduction on donations through the generosity of Americans for Indian Opportunity (AIO), a national nonprofit organization that catalyzes and facilitates culturally appropriate initiatives and opportunities that enrich the cultural, political and economic lives of Indigenous peoples. AIO is headquartered in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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  • Audiences around the world will be able to enjoy "LaDonna Harris: Indian 101" at film festivals throughout 2012 and beyond. In addition, the film will be aired on PBS via a grant received from ITVS (Independent Television Service). Finally, the film will be made available for purchase on DVD after its initial television broadcast and film festival run.

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  • Yes - we welcome donors from all over the world! This project has a true global audience and support from friends outside the U.S. will help us not only get the film finished, but also screened in countries all over the globe. Please add an additional $20 to your donation to cover the cost of shipping your reward(s).

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  • You selected
    Pledge $1 or more

    2 backers

    Get a hearty thanks from our team by pitching in just a single dollar - every little bit helps!

  • You selected
    Pledge $10 or more

    52 backers

    $10 donors receive a thank you on the film’s website and full tax deduction of their donation.

  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    65 backers

    Get a thank-you on the film's website and social media spaces PLUS a beautiful, full-color commemorative 11x14 official movie poster from "LaDonna Harris: Indian 101"!

  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    2 backers All gone!

    One $25 gift certificate to Forward Foods located in Norman, OK and Oklahoma City, OK.

  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    23 backers Limited (17 left of 40)

    Your donation of $50 will get you all of the above PLUS a CD from Josh Bradford's bands Stayte or Simple Shelter (limit 20) OR the album "Comanche Flute" on CD from the late Doc Tate Nevaquaya (limit 20).

  • You selected
    Pledge $75 or more

    25 backers Limited (225 left of 250)

    All of the above, PLUS a DVD of the film (once completed).

  • You selected
    Pledge $75 or more

    3 backers All gone!

    All of the above PLUS a very limited edition CD from Comanche singer Marla Nauni.

  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    20 backers All gone!

    All of the above PLUS handmade earrings made by Comanche filmmaker Julianna Brannum (limit 10) OR an 8x10 photo of LaDonna Harris at the Taos Pueblo taken by Pima photographer Anthony Thosh Collins (limit 10).

  • You selected
    Pledge $150 or more

    10 backers All gone!

    All of the above PLUS a limited edition print of Joan Hill's beautiful painting "Untitled" (referred to by our friends at Americans for Indian Opportunity as "Family") [limit 5] OR a limited editing print of the extraordinary LaDonna Harris photographed in gorgeous full Comanche regalia (limit 5).

  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    11 backers Limited (89 left of 100)

    All of the above PLUS a 12x18 print of Kiowa/Choctaw artist Steven Judd’s “Jim Thorpe” (Limit 20) OR a 16x20 print of Kiowa/Choctaw artist Steven Judd’s “Lego My Land” (Limit 20) OR a 12x18 print of Kiowa/Choctaw artist Steven Judd’s “Bottle Cap Series” (Limit 20) OR 12x18 print of Kiowa artist Thomas Poolaw’s “See…I told you” (Limit 20) OR 12x18 print of Kiowa artist Thomas Poolaw’s “Four Feathers” (Limit 20).

  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    3 backers Limited (62 left of 65)

    All of the above PLUS a movie poster autographed by director Julianna Brannum and LaDonna Harris AND a one-of-a-kind pottery piece made by Lacey Wagner (Limit 5) OR all of the above PLUS a movie poster autographed by director Julianna Brannum and LaDonna Harris AND a limited edition print by artist Joan Hill (Limit 40) OR all of the above PLUS a movie poster autographed by director Julianna Brannum and LaDonna Harris and a signed copy of the book, “LaDonna Harris: A Comanche Life” (Limit 20).

  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    0 backers Limited (10 left of 10)

    All of the above PLUS the chance to host a screening of the film with writer/director/producer Julianna Brannum in attendance (within the continental U.S.)!

  • You selected
    Pledge $2,500 or more

    1 backer Limited (1 left of 2)

    All of the above PLUS dinner with LaDonna Harris in Albuquerque, NM (travel to Albuquerque and accommodations not included).

  • You selected
    Pledge $5,000 or more

    0 backers Limited (2 left of 2)

    All of the above PLUS Executive Producer credit and two (2) tickets to the film’s premiere (travel to the premiere and accommodations not included). What a great opportunity to have your name on the big screen! Note that the filmmaker retains all creative control - this credit is solely for name recognition.

Funding period

- (30 days)