Congratulations to the native youth group at Santa Fe Preparatory School for their film selection into the White Sands International Film Festival. The Young Ancestors is a documentary about a group of Native American teens in Santa Fe, New Mexico, who, under the guidance of a mentor, are learning the Tewa language and seeking to revitalize its culture.
New Mexico, along with its neighboring states of Oklahoma and Texas, has been identified as one of the top five regions in the world where languages are disappearing most rapidly. The youth were part of a pilot program that began in 2009 that asked students to study the Tewa language under a mentor at Santa Fe Preparatory School in New Mexico.
The film clearly confirms the importance of language preservation and education, especially at the youth level. The loss of a language is the loss of hundreds of years of thinking about the world. For the youth, learning one’s native language can mean the gaining of one’s identity, of the knowledge of where one comes from, and of self-empowerment.
“This film is about courage and hope; the triumph of honor and respect,” reads the film description.