Private Project

Not Your Mascot

The Napa High Indian mascot has been a contentious issue for decades and it has finally come to a head.

  • Beth Nelsen
    Mothership, Meet the Beavers, The Sky Is The Roof, Love Refugees
  • Beth Nelsen
    Mothership, Meet the Beavers, The Sky Is The Roof, Love Refugees
  • Suscol Intertribal Council
    The Sky Is The Roof, Awakening the Healing Voices of Our Ancestors
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Genres:
    Documentary, Social Impact, Native American, Indigenous
  • Runtime:
    13 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    March 1, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    2,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital HD
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • San Francisco Queer Women of Color Film Festival
    San Francisco
    United States
    June 15, 2019
Director Biography - Beth Nelsen

Beth Nelsen has been documenting for the Suscol Intertribal Council since 2009. A fierce advocate for mental health, she serves on her local county's Mental Health Board and is busy developing a series of videos to help heal historical trauma in collaboration with the Suscol Intertribal Council. Beth earned her MA in Film & Television from the University of Melbourne, Australia, in 2007.

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Director Statement

I was adopted at birth and grew up in Napa and left for about 18 years because I could see it was a small town with an even smaller world view and I knew it was important to learn about the world in which I inhabit. I was told at a young age by my adoptive parents that I was Native American. I was not raised in my culture, though I was the subject of a few jokes among the kids whenever we decided to study the Native Americans during the school year. As a teen, I found my birth families and would later travel as an adult with my biological cousin to New Mexico to meet the women from my tribe, the Tewa Women. As a teen, I attended the rival high school, the Vintage Crushers, though the Indian mascot did always make me feel a bit uncomfortable, especially since we were "crushing" the Indians. Since making this short film, I am not the favorite person in some circles but I am okay with this. I think the film serves as an important tool for other high schools who may still be behind the times. Not to mention the NFL. It was a tough shoot and I recall crying when I got home from all the ugliness at the Board meeting we see on camera. I was a new mom at the time and I could only hope for a better world for my daughter.