Oct 05, 2023 - 5–7:30pm
Lower Level, Auditorium (KAM 62)

The documentary film Fighting Indians tells the story of the successful effort to eliminate the use of Native-themed mascots and names in the public school system of Skowhegan, ME, the last district in the state to use such mascots or names. 

For Tribal Nations there, this marked an end to a decades-long struggle to educate the public on the harms of “Indian” mascots and end their use. A discussion will follow the screening, featuring the film’s director, Mark Cooley, and two prominent leaders featured in the film, Dwayne Tomah and Maulian Dana.

Supported by the School of Art & Design Visitors Committee, Media & Cinema Studies Program, Roger Ebert Center for Film Studies, The Center for Advanced Study, and the Humanities Research Institute


The Art & Design Visitors Series endeavors to be accessible to all. If you have questions or would like to request an accessibility accommodation, please email


About the Panelists

Mark Cooley

Mark Cooley is an interdisciplinary artist and educator whose work primarily focuses on social and environmental issues in a variety of forms, including museum installations, documentary film, sound art, and permaculture design. His work has been screened, exhibited, and performed internationally in venues including Exit Art (NYC), the St. Louis Science Center, The World Social Forum in Mumbai, MediaLabMadrid, the Anthology Film Archives (NYC), and The Phillips, D.C. Mark is an Associate Professor and Director of New Media Arts at George Mason University and is one of the directors of Fighting Indians.


Maulian Dana (Penobsot)

Maulian Dana is Tribal Ambassador for the Penobscot Nation, serving as a representative of the Penobscot Nation at the local, state, and federal levels of government in order to educate and advocate for policy and laws that impact and protect the Penobscot Nation’s sovereignty, culture, natural resources, and general welfare of the Penobscot people. Ambassador Dana’s advocacy has resulted in the State of Maine legally changing the annual Columbus Day holiday in October to Indigenous Peoples Day and to prohibit public schools from using derogatory mascots.

Dwayne Tomah (Passamaquoddy)

Dwayne Tomah is a Language Keeper and teacher of the Passamaquoddy language and culture. He shares Native legends through song and dance, and has edited the Passamaquoddy dictionary and helped create a Passamaquoddy Language App. Dwayne is currently working with the Library of Congress on translating the Passamaquoddy Wax Cylinders, the first recordings in the world of Native languages. He is involved in repatriation and Land Back issues and sharing historical truth regarding The Doctrine of Discovery from an Indigenous perspective.