At Standing Rock a Lakota matriarch, a Jicarilla Apache / Diné two-spirit person, and a Cheyenne River youth leader join the resistance against the Dakota Access Pipeline. They each discover their power within a movement that echoes worldwide. As each returns home determined to break the cycle of the effects of colonization, they realize their battle has just begun.
The Sacred & The Snake focuses on how the experience of cultural self-discovery, community building, and non-violent direct action catalyzed a resistance movement in Standing Rock and propelled movements across the country. While much of the public accepts the media narrative that Standing Rock was a failure, or simply a tragedy, these protagonists defiantly show otherwise. We chronicle the personal journeys of youth and women who sparked the largest gathering of nations in the world. The camps lit a fire in each of our participants and set them on a new path, while reawakening a global awareness of the environment and Indigenous sovereignty.
We are a collaborative filmmaking team - a group of non-Native filmmakers working alongside a prolific group of Indigenous producers and advisors that are holding us accountable as we embark on this process. We are committed to working within the #decolonizedocs movement and guidelines. Everyday we learn more about how we can humble ourselves in this process, amplify Indigenous voices to guide the project, and redistribute our privilege and power in a productive way.
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WHERE YOUR SUPPORT GOES
Thanks so much for considering a pledge to support this film. The funds raised will go directly towards:
Paying our Editor, and Finishing Editor to get us to the crucial Fine and Final Cut
Paying our Indigenous Producers, Advisors, Consultants, Composers, & Graphic Artists
Paying for Post-Sound and Color
By supporting this project you're part of a historic moment - an awakening of consciousness around Indigenous and environmental sovereignty. You are elevating the message that protecting Indigenous territories begins with protecting Indigenous womxn, two-spirit, and youth.
If you're interested in making a large donation and you would like it tax-deductible - please reach out to us at email@example.com and we will direct you to our Fiscal Sponsor.
Sara is a filmmaker and photojournalist with a passion for telling stories of the underdog and the underbelly of society. She is an alum of the Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism's documentary program. She’s worked with the Guardian, CIR, Fusion, and AJ+.
Jonathan is a filmmaker who believes the camera is a tool that can shake the foundations of power. He focuses the lens on people building a better world, and is inspired by the risk takers and the fight. As an alum of UW-Madison and doc|UW-Milwaukee he's been a Senior Producer of The Laura Flanders Show, the Production Coordinator of the Kennedy Center Honors Films, has interned with Fault Lines, and freelanced as a DP and Producer with Fusion, AJ+, The Guardian, Voces de la Frontera, and Center for Investigative Reporting.
Romin Lee Johnson
Romin is a documentary photographer and filmmaker, and is an alum of the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism's storied doc program. He was the school's inaugural recipient of the Marlon T. Riggs Fellowship in Documentary Filmmaking.
When he isn't busy with documentary work, he moonlights as a wedding and portrait photographer, shooting and developing on 35mm film.
Tracy Rector is a mixed race filmmaker, curator, community organizer. She brings two decades of experience as a community organizer, educator, filmmaker, film programmer, and arts curator. Her work has been featured on Independent Lens, National Geographic, Cannes Film Festival, ImagineNative, Toronto International Film Festival, and the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian. In addition, Tracy is the co-founder of the nonprofit Longhouse Media and recently completed 8 years as a Seattle Arts Commissioner. She is the Managing Director of Storytelling at Nia Tero.
Leaf has a penchant for being in two places at once. He can be found with a camera around his neck, a drone close by, and constantly thinking about how his next video will seamlessly flow. He sees little stories everywhere and prides himself on capturing them and making them glow. Aside from filming and editing wedding videos, Leaf has worked on numerous commercial and documentary pieces, has a love for meeting new people, seeing new places, perfect waves, cats, magic tricks, and his friends and family.
Kawahara began her career as a writer/producer in San Francisco. Her film credits include Belly of the Beast, T-Rex; City of Borders; Yank Tanks; and Of Civil Wrongs and Rights: The Fred Korematsu Story. T-Rex won the Audience Award at the San Francisco Film Festival and aired on PBS’ Independent Lens. City of Borders garnered the Teddy Audience Award at the Berlin Film Festival and aired on PBS. Yank Tanks was voted Best Documentary at the 2002 Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival. Of Civil Wrongs and Rights won an Emmy for Best Editing and Directing at the 2001 National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences News and Documentary Emmy Awards, was shortlisted for the 2001 Academy Awards, and aired nationwide on P.O.V. Kawahara was also consulting editor on Semper Fi: Always Faithful, which won the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival’s best editing award and was shortlisted for the 2012 Academy Awards.
Samuel Trim (Afro-Indigenous Arawak-Carib) is a multi-award-winning filmmaker, & innovation leader in the field of cybersecurity & cloud technologies. He serves as our producer, managing strategic operations, logistics and contributing creative direction for our production. His feature film Yakona, takes viewers on an impressionistic journey of conservationism and indigenous cultural awareness, from prehistoric to modern times through the eyes of a river.
Jordan Marie Brings Three White Horses Daniel
Jordan is a citizen of the Kul Wicasa Oyate (Lower Brule Sioux Tribe) as well as a passionate advocate for Indian Country and all people. She is nationally known for her advocacy and grassroots organization for anti-pipelines/climate justice efforts, change the name/not your mascot, the epidemic and crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women (MMIW), and Native youth initiatives. Her experience in grants and project management, policy, blogging, and organizing has been leveraged by organizations working in environmental sustainability, access to quality healthcare, MMIW, the Violence Against Women Act, and a variety of other worthy causes. She is the founder of Rising Hearts, the cofounder of DC ReInvest Coalition, is on the Board of Directors with the PowerShift Network and Lab29, and is an Outreach and Project Manager with UCLA, in Los Angeles, homelands to the Tongva people. Jordan was awarded the NCAIED Native American 40 Under 40 in 2018. She’s using her running platform of 21 years to help raise awareness and bring justice to missing and murdered Indigenous relatives and their families. Jordan is consulting on documentaries as an Indigenous advocate and Impact Producer, and is consulting to develop social media to protect sacred lands and support Indigenous folx.
Jon Ayon is a Mestizo (Comcáac/Pipil/Xicano/Salvadoreño) filmmaker from LA. Based in Oakland, he holds a B.A. in Cinema from SF State and an MFA in Documentary from Stanford. His work has earned him recognition and support from Francis and Roman Coppola, The Annenberg Foundation, SFFILM, NewFilmmakers LA, Points North Institute, IDA, Full Frame, Avenida TV, & Sundance. Ayon’s films explore the Mestize/Latine-“American” experience with a critical focus on broken Indigenous kinship systems, internalized racism, cultural xenophobia, Ulysses syndrome, and generational trauma.