Urban Rez

Directors: Larry T. Pourier, Lisa D. Olken
Year: 2013
Running Time: 57 minutes

Urban Rez explores the controversial, lasting legacy of the 1952-1973 Voluntary Relocation Program that encouraged American Indians to leave their homelands and relocate to urban areas across the country. The film’s unique approach to this historical reflection is interspersed with modern-day analysis which makes clear that the program that started over 60 years ago still has an effect in today’s world. Hosted by actor, musician, and Oglala Lakota member Moses Brings Plenty, Urban Rez shines light on a seldom told chapter in American history and is very different from the stereotypical American Indian narrative of land loss, poverty, and scant resources. Interviewees speak about the wonderful opportunities provided to them such as the work-education programs but also of the challenges of maintaining their tribal traditions, speaking their language, isolation, racism, and being separated from family and friends.

2013 Heartland Chapter Emmy Award – Best Cultural Documentary
2013 Native American Indian Film & Video Festival of the Southeast – Official Selection
2013 American Indian Festival – Best Documentary Short Winner