COMING SOON …. Final editing in process …. Stay tuned …. Thanks!
The forced relocation of many Native American people from their tribal homelands by Federal mandate starting in 1830 culminated in many horrendous events amongst them what has been called The Trail of Tears in Oklahoma Territory during which thousands of Native men, women and children perished due to starvation, disease, mal-treatment and heartbreak. This series of events, along with the multitude of other travesties then and continuing through the 20th century foisted on Native American tribes has resulted in massive multi-generational cultural trauma.
Grandmother Margaret Behan, a member of the Choctaw and Northern Cheyenne nations and a member of the International Council of the Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers, knew that one way to help heal this cultural trauma, at least for some Native peoples and some tribes, was to re-enact that portion of the Trail of Tears in which a small band of Lakota Sioux and Northern Cheyenne tribal members escaped from captivity and endeavored to find their way home.
The Road Home is a documentary directed and produced by Kristen Jordan and edited and produced by Atma Cornelius about the two month journey by horseback from Oklahoma to the Northern Cheyenne Reservation in southeastern Montana culminating at the 11th Annual Council Gathering of the 13 Indigenous Grandmothers.
I joined Kristin and Atma as their camerman during the 11th Council Gathering on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation and had the great privilege to document the entire gathering, being the only man outside of their entourage granted access to the Grandmothers and being the only photographer / videographer given permission to film the Council Gathering and many sacred ceremonies in addition to Marisol Villanueva who has been photographing the Grandmothers since their inception..
While Kristin and Atma were conducting interviews off-site I was given free reign to document the entire gathering, all the speakers and events, several of which culminated in both personal and broad-sweeping apologies from caucasian descendants of the military leaders who carried out Federal government policies of extermination against Native people’s during the so-called Indian Wars of the late 1800’s including one great-great niece of General George Armstrong Custer. It was a very heartfelt and deeply emotional five days of ceremony.
I used a Canon 5DM3 with a variety of Canon L Series glass, Rode external microphone, Tascam digital recorder and a remote controlled GoPro Hero2 camera mounted on a 20-foot pole for high angle shots cause I could not use a crane or jib.
It was a privilege to participate in ceremony and an honor to use my photographic and cinematographic skills for such a worthy project.