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  • Writer's pictureMaddy Mele

In My Blood It Runs- Worth the Watch

Mango Rating: 5/5

In My Blood It Runs is a beautiful but heartbreaking documentary that follows the story of a 10 year old Arrernte Aboriginal boy who is failing in school. Dujuan is a gifted healer, hunter, and speaks 3 languages. He lives with his family in Alice Springs, Australia. Throughout the film, Dujuan is being pulled between two cultures, Aboriginal and Western.

Dujuan's family believes it is important for him to get an education, so that he will be able to live in the systems that are in place in Australia. At home, he is learning Arrernte and how to harness his gift of healing. When he arrives at school, his teachers teach the history of Australia being a white man colonizing the country. I can't even begin to wrap my head around one culture, let alone two, and this young boy is trying to learn both.

The school that Dujuan attends in Alice Springs reports to his family that he is failing, and that he is not doing well in school. One of the assessments he receives is a spelling test, and it is clear that Dujuan is frustrated because he does not know how to spell simple words in English. He begins to "get silly" as he calls it, or acting out, and his school's response is to suspend him. When he goes to the school that was originally created for Aboriginal children, he faces the same challenges with the curriculum. He begins to run away from school, and while his family do their best to help him succeed, he is not, and the school expels him. Dujuan has no choice but to move and live with his father, away from his family.

This documentary shines a light on an issue we face in American schools, erasing indigenous history. In elementary school, I was taught about the native tribes in Utah as if they no longer existed. In Seattle as a teacher, we started doing land acknowledgements at the beginning of class everyday. While we are actively trying to incorporate indigenous history, there is so much more that we need to do. As educators, we need to be able to reach every student that walks into our classroom. I believe that Dujuan did not fail school, but his teachers failed him. The system is set up to teach a white history as the only history, but that is simply false. To be an effective education system, we need to be more inclusive to other cultures.

To read more or watch In My Blood It Runs, visit

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