Crew Statement for Urban Rez

Crew Statement for Urban Rez

When we began on this journey, my “brothers from another mother” [Director, Larry Pourier/Oglala Lakota; DP, Boots Kennedy/Kiowa; PA, Derek Brown/ Diné and Host Moses Brings Plenty/Lakota] and I realized that we were the only filmmakers who was telling the story of Relocation through the eyes of those who had experienced it: urban-based Indians as well as reservation-based Indians. It was very important to present these oral histories from an ‘asset perspective’ rather than a ‘deficit perspective’, and to showcase  how ceremony, culture, and family can propel a people into the future, wherever they come from or choose to live.
Jay Grimm, the Denver Indian Center’s Executive Director, commented that “every Native child should see this film in school”.  The crew and I hope to take that even further; that these stories create a larger window into the national collective of contemporary American history and help to shed a light on a significant population that is too often misunderstood or overlooked. And by celebrating the human traits of adaptability, resilience, courage and humor as integral to being human and Native, we honor the many thousands who ventured beyond their comfort zone, found their place in the world, and is a shining example to others.

- Lisa Olken, Writer, Producer and Editor, Urban Rez

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Should tribes like the Shoshone and Arapaho attempt to bring back beautiful ancestral objects—drums, pipes, eagle wing fans, medicine bags, weapons, and ceremonial attire that ar