Jan Crull, Jr.


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Jan Crull, Jr.

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Jan Crull, Jr. - Biography

Jan Crull, Jr. is a Native American rights advocate, attorney, and filmmaker. From 1979 to the beginning of 1981, Jan Crull Jr. was a volunteer on the Ramah Navajo Indian Reservation in New Mexico where he made many contributions to the well-being of the Ramah Navajos. Although a volunteer, a title - Assistant to the President and the Chapter (the reservation's local government) - was conferred upon him by a community vote already in mid August 1979.
In the early 1980s, Jan Crull Jr. served as a professional staffer with the U. S. House of Representatives' Subcommittee on Postsecondary Education then chaired by Paul Simon. Crull was responsible for developing legislation reauthorizing the Tribal College Act(The Tribally Controlled Community College Assistance Act ), creating special provisions for Native Americans in the Library Services Construction Act , and other matters related to Indian education. Sensing the negative impact of what would subsequently be called Reaganomics on Indian education and especially the Tribal Colleges, he called for a meeting of all tribal college presidents and other Indian leaders on the afternoon of July 21, 1981 at the now defunct American Indian Bank in Washington, D.C. There he proposed the creation of an American Indian College Fund akin to the United Negro College Fund and having the U.S. government provide matching funds to a level determined by the U.S. Congress. This "matching idea" was based on the reworking of the old Allen Bill language and incorporating it in the reauthorization legislation for the tribal colleges.

In the early 1970s, Crull attempted to develop a film about Dutch/U.S. relations regarding West New Guinea in 1962, titled What About My Friend's Children . Because two of the three key figures were already deceased and the third one stymied him, he pieced together a short film that was only an outline of the original. Not in Fiction Only: There and Here Also was shown half completed. Both projects had Crull being mentored by Joris Ivens even though he, himself, could not devote much time to Crull's endeavors since he was busily engaged with other film work in China. AIDDS: American Indians' Devastating Dilemma Soon , To Mute Them Once Again , and Indian Buckaroos were short films, originally meant to be feature length which Crull released under the Vigil Film Production Company banner in the early 1990s. While he had been doing them, among other things, his goal was to develop a feature-length documentary film A Free People, Free To Choose.
After over one hundred hours of preliminary footage was shot or compiled, the film's subjects got involved in a lawsuit with one another (which had nothing to do with Crull) and the project fell apart although a part of it was salvaged and has been viewed. Erik Barnouw and Malcolm Mackenzie Ross served as Crull's mentors on this project. Crull also had his brush with feature films: David Lean's Ryan's Daughter; John Trent's Sunday in the Country; and Alan Bridges' Age of Innocence.