Filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin to receive Edward MacDowell Medal

Apr 2, 2023, 7:04 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — Documentary maker Alanis Obomsawin is this year’s winner of the Edward MacDowell Medal, a lifetime achievement honor given previously to Toni Morrison, David Lynch and Roseanne Cash among others. She is the first female director to win the medal, presented by the MacDowell artist residency program. She is also the first recipient who descends from the Abanaki People, part of whose homeland is now the setting for MacDowell, based in Peterborough, New Hampshire.

“It is a distinct pleasure to be counted among such a magnificent group,” the 90-year-old Obomsawin, referring to the other medal winners, said in a statement.

A New Hampshire native who grew up in Quebec, she has made dozens of movies, focused often on First Nations people, her credits including “Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance” and “Incident at Restigouche.” She is also an activist, actor and musician who has received numerous awards in Canada.

“As the Grand Dame of the Indigenous film world and the documentary field, Alanis Obomsawin’s exemplary 52-year body of work uplifting Indigenous stories and triumph inspired us with compelling and unequivocal enthusiasm to award her with the 2023 Edward MacDowell Medal,” Bird Runningwater, a member of the Medal Selection Panel and guide for the Sundance Institute’s investment in Native American and Indigenous filmmakers, said in a statement.

The Canadian writer Jesse Wente, board chair of Canada’s Council for the Arts, will introduce Obomsawin during a July 23 gathering at MacDowell,

In its announcement Sunday, MacDowell noted that it “has been reexamining its core values and vision, making changes to outdated and exclusionary policies, acknowledging that its program takes place on un-ceded First Nations lands, and continuing to activate diversity, equity, inclusion, and access throughout the organization.” MacDowell, founded early in the 20th century, had called itself the MacDowell Colony until 2020, when it dropped “colony,” saying the word suggests elitism and exclusion.

National News

jerry west...

Tim Reynolds, The Associated Press

Jerry West, a 3-time Hall of Fame selection and the NBA logo, dies at 86

Jerry West, a three-time Basketball Hall of Fame inductee whose silhouette is considered to be the basis of the NBA logo, died Wednesday morning.

7 minutes ago

Associated Press

One of several South Dakota baseball players charged in rape case pleads guilty to lesser felony

MITCHELL, S.D. (AP) — One of the several former players on an American Legion baseball team in South Dakota charged last year with rape has pleaded guilty to a lesser felony. The 19-year-old former Mitchell player pleaded guilty to one count of accessory to a felony, according to court documents cited by KELO-TV on Tuesday. […]

23 minutes ago

Associated Press

Alabama seeks more nitrogen executions, despite concern over the method

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama is seeking to carry out another nitrogen gas execution, months after the state became the first to put a person to death with the previously untested method. The attorney general’s office on Monday asked the Alabama Supreme Court to authorize an execution date for Carey Dale Grayson, who was convicted […]

13 hours ago

Associated Press

Silicon Valley-backed voter plan for new California city qualifies for November ballot

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A Silicon Valley-backed initiative to build a green city for up to 400,000 people in the San Francisco Bay Area has qualified for the Nov. 5 ballot, elections officials said Tuesday. Solano County’s registrar of voters said in a statement that the office verified a sufficient sampling of signatures. California Forever, […]

14 hours ago

Associated Press

What’s next for Hunter Biden after his conviction on federal gun charges

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — Hunter Biden’s legal woes are not over after his conviction on three felony firearms charges in a trial that put a spotlight on his drug-fueled past. Now, President Joe Biden’s son faces sentencing, and another criminal trial on tax charges in the middle of his father’s reelection campaign. Jurors found Hunter […]

15 hours ago

Associated Press

Supermarket gunman’s lawyers say he should be exempt from the death penalty because he was 18

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — The gunman who killed 10 Black people at a Buffalo supermarket should be exempt from the death penalty because he was 18 at the time of the attack, an age when the brain is still developing and more vulnerable to negative influences, his defense team said in a new court filing. […]

15 hours ago

Filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin to receive Edward MacDowell Medal