What are the attributes of a cinema of sovereignty that can be teased out of Alanis Obomsawin's long career for the benefit of other indigenous media producers? What qualities have allowed her to connect with audiences both in small Native communities and at elite film festivals? The first is that her work is the product of a sovereign gaze, one that is imbued with the self-respect and unique ambitions of a self-defined sovereign people, even if this sovereignty carries with it a complex and contested legal status. Rejecting the encroachment of external media nationalisms, her cinematic vision reflects an indigenous sovereign gaze, a practice of looking that comes out of Native experience and shapes the nature of the film itself. The gaze is sovereign, I argue, when it is rooted in the particular ways of knowing and being that inform distinct nationhoods. It is sovereign when cultural insiders are the controlling intelligence behind the filmmaking process, no matter how much non-Natives might help in various capacities. It is sovereign when Native people have, as Atsenhaienton puts it, the ability to use 'our terminology to express our self-determination—how we will exist, how we relate to each other and to other people.' And it is sovereign when it works against what one scholar has dubbed the '"whiting out' of the Indigene—the projection of white concepts and anxieties about the primitive on to the Aboriginal Other—effected by the white camera eye' in Hollywood and Canadian feature films, mainstream documentaries, and traditional ethnographic cinema. By focusing attention on that which has been overlooked, concealed, or distorted in the mainstream media, Obomsawin’s cinema of sovereignty provides an ideological rebuke to dominant practices of looking at Nativeness and, in this sense, troubles the visual impulses of white settler cultures in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and elsewhere.