Sag Harbor resident Bryan Downey has photographed many Native American tribes around the U.S. as a professional photographer. In his first film “1,000 Years a Witness,” his new documentary film series, Downey explores the lives of 13 Shinnecock elders and one child whose combined ages add up to exactly 1,000 years. They discuss the struggle to keep the younger generation connected to the Shinnecock Indian Nation’s roots with the encroachment of western technology and the loss of traditions. In the words of a popular proverb, “When an elder dies, a library burns with them.”
The film has been made available for viewing online through the Southampton History Museum in an event co-sponsored with the Rogers Memorial Library. Reserve for this event at southamptonhistory.org and watch anytime, but viewers who join on November 12, at 11 a.m., will also be able to see a Q&A with Downey.