Grant #69

Tribal Justice

February 18, 2014

Teacher. Writer. Political Scientist. Ruth Cowan’s life is devoted to the advancement of opportunities for marginalized people worldwide.

Of her many achievements, two of the most notable include co-founding Pro Mujer, a leading women’s development organization, and producing Courting Justice, a documentary that explores rights-based justice in post-apartheid South Africa through the eyes of seven female judges. The doc served as a fitting precursor to Cowan’s latest film: Tribal Justice.

In an effort to combat the lack of reliable information about Native issues, Cowan will offer an intimate look at the judicial lives of tribal court chief judges Abby Abinanti and Claudette White; who serve the two largest Native American tribes in California. An exploration of the critical issues facing Indian Country (such as the removal of children from their tribes and high rates of alcoholism, drug abuse and domestic violence) and the ways in which creating a tribal judicial system will restore justice and help rebuild their nations, Cowan hopes the movie will also enlighten and inspire.

Misconceptions, your days are numbered.

Grab your popcorn and snag a first look at Ruth’s new film here.

Category: Activism, Documentary, Education, Empowerment, Film, Media, Preservation



After 11+ years, we’re signing off and closing applications for good. We’ve supported 571 projects with $571,000 in grant dollars. We’re so proud to have celebrated such incredible work. Please visit for more information on other AWESOME chapters! And thanks for sharing so much awesomeness with us.

Team Awesome Without Borders