Alica “Sheyahshe” Mteuzi

Black, Caddo, Cheyenne & Arapaho

GRANTEE: Alica “Sheyahshe” Mteuzi
NATIVE HERITAGE: Black, Caddo, Cheyenne & Arapaho
LOCATION: Albuquerque, NM
AWARD: 2023 LIFT– Early Career Support for Native Artists 

Alica “Sheyahshe” Mteuzi, a filmmaker specializing in Afro-Indigenous futurisms, intricately weaves together the shared struggles and unique tensions within Black and Native communities. She is a member of the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma and a descendant of both the Southern Cheyenne & Arapaho Peoples and formerly enslaved Indigenous Africans. Recently, she earned a BFA in Digital Arts from the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, NM. Originally hailing from the San Francisco Bay Area and now based in Albuquerque, NM, she is gearing up for the production of her next film, “BILA.”

Mteuzi began her filmmaking journey in 2017 with “A Former Member of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense,” shedding light on a pivotal female figure from the Black Power era. Later, in 2022, she directed “Rezd Out,” a nuanced portrayal of friendships written by Julia White (Ho-chunk). “HADAYA,” released in 2023, explores Black and Native liberation, underscored by Diné trumpeter Delbert Anderson’s blend of Navajo, South African, and jazz beats.

Inspired by Amílcar Cabral’s revolutionary legacy, our protagonist embodies Cabralism by championing Indigenous culture resurgence and global unity among marginalized groups.

-Alica “Sheyahshe” Mteuzi (Black, Caddo, Cheyenne & Arapaho)


For her LIFT Project, Mteuzi is writing and directing “BILA,” a sci-fi narrative set 50 years into the future. Venturing into a dystopian realm, the film channels alternative Black and Native histories onto a landscape shaped by the unintended consequences of advanced technology. Set against a futuristic canvas, the film harnesses Afro-Indigenous futurism’s unique principles and aesthetics, spotlighting the shared and distinct challenges these communities face. The film will be screened at tribal schools in New Mexico and submitted to film festivals nationwide.

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