On Horseback, Rescuing the Stranded

On Horseback, Rescuing the Stranded

Floyd Takes Gun and his brother, Gordon, rescued 27 people from the floodwaters on horseback. The grandson of Chief Two Guns White Calf, the 70-year-old Takes Gun has avoided recognition for decades, choosing to avoid public memorials. Today, he is one of the last people living along the river bottom, near the home sites of his parents and grandparents. “This is my territory,” he said. “I’ll be out here till I die.” Photo by David Grewe.

Media coverage

The Flathead Beacon published a story on our project last week. You can read “Preserving Memories of the Blackfeet” here. Thanks to Justin Franz and the Beacon for the interest in our project. Justin gets to the guts of our project with this:  A big part of the presentation will be a mobile phone app that people will be able to download and use to travel across the reservation. At specific sites, video, photos and text pertaining to that spot will appear on the phone and people will be able to read about what happened there 50 years earlier.

Passing Into History

Passing Into History

When Betty Cooper picked up the San Francisco Chronicle on the day after the flood, it was the first news she had heard of the Blackfeet tragedy. A federal relocation program had moved her and her family to the Bay Area, a world away from her family in Montana. Her husband’s brother, Sam New Breast, as well as Sam’s wife and young daughter, died when Swift Dam collapsed, sending a wall of water down tiny Birch Creek.

“If you’re not home, there’s so many impacts, still today,” Cooper said. “So many young people don’t know about the flood. It’s passing into history.”

Photo by Lailani Upham.

Congrats Brooke!

Congrats Brooke!

Time Warner Foundation selected director Brooke Swaney for its prestigious 2013 Fellowship Program. Here’s the announcement from Sundance.

And here’s the excerpt on Brooke:

“Circle” by Brooke Swaney (Native American & Indigenous Film Program) — Auralee, trapped in a dead-end job and a dead-end relationship, searches for her native roots while coping with a sudden onset of baby-mania. Frankie, a teenage Haida girl in Montana, acquaints herself with her new foster family while combating the after effects of abuse. Auralee wants a kid, Frankie wants love, and only one knows it is each other.

Brooke Swaney (Blackfeet & Salish) received her MFA in Film and Television from NYU’s Tisch School of Arts. Her first film, The Indigenoid, was nominated for Best Live Short at the 2005 American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco. In 2011, Ok Breathe Auralee premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.