Student’s documentary helps her family heal from intergenerational trauma
Cecilia Mellieon and her daughter sit outdoors at Fortaleza Indian Ruins, homeland of their ancestors, near the Tohono O’odham Nation’s San Lucy Village outside of Gila Bend, Arizona. Photo from 2001.
Grad student Cecilia Mellieon utilizes visual anthropology, a field of study founded at SF State, to tell stories of urban Native American life
With a video camera in her hands and empathy in her heart, one San Francisco State University student is focusing her capstone project on a subject many families prefer to avoid: their intergenerational trauma.
Cecilia Mellieon, a graduate student in Anthropology at San Francisco State, is the director of a documentary titled “He told us the sky is blue.” It traces her family’s trauma to Native American oppression, focusing on the Indian boarding school her father attended in Fort Apache, Arizona.
In her 55-minute film, Mellieon’s family recalls surviving an abusive household. They share feelings of sadness and regret as they also work to resolve their anger.