Smithsonian Voices

From the Smithsonian Museums

Native Film Advocate Michael Smith (1951–2018)—An Appreciation

Michael Smith (Fort Peck Sioux Tribe), the founder and director of the American Indian Film Institute and American Indian Film Festival, was an advocate for Native people and a leader in bringing their voices to mainstream media through film. His dedication to showcasing films by or about American Indians and First Nations people was tireless. He could be seen at conventions, film festivals, tribal communities—even at local diners—where he would chat with anyone about his loves: the American Indian Film Festival and his family.