The youngest pilot in US history was a 13-year-old Chickasaw girl.
The Chickasaw tribe broke the French hammerlock on Mississippi River traffic in the early 1700s, paving the way for the English colonization of what would become the United States we know today.
These little-known points of the American chronology are gradually coming to life on the screen thanks to the support of the Chickasaw Nation, which creates increasingly ambitious film and television productions to entertain and educate Central American and Indigenous people about the role Native Americans have played in world history.
“It takes knowledge and a special effort to represent the early Americans accurately, which is why it is so important to have discussions with any tribe that a filmmaker may want to represent,” said Robyn Elliott, who oversees script development and budgeting, and assists in film production for the Chickasaw Nation. “There is incredible cultural diversity among the more than 500 federally recognized tribes in the United States. As tribal cultures have been aggregated into a kind of cohesive Indian identity for decades in most mainstream media, that is starting to change. “
Elliott added that the Chickasaw Nation was setting the record straight by including other tribes in their productions. He consulted with other countries to make sure they are accurately described.
“This is why we think it is so important to show very diverse cultures within the Indian country,” she said. “Each tribe has its own culture. Has its own story. Has its own heroes and contributions. I think it’s important to recognize the real story.
Eula “Pearl” Carter Scott
Finding these stories hasn’t been difficult for the Chickasaw Nation, Elliott said. The first series of films were based on the life of Eula “Pearl” Carter Scott, who, as mentioned above, became the youngest pilot in the United States in 1929.
Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby knew Pearl Carter Scott, Elliott said. The two had worked together for years in the Chickasaw Nation government, where Scott had served as a legislative representative for three terms – and as a community health worker, in the second act of his life. (Go here to see the feature film, called “Pearl.”)
The second film series, released in 2017, focused on Te Ata, a Chickasaw woman whose storytelling abilities eventually led her to perform in the White House and befriend Eleanor Roosevelt.
Films about Te Ata and Scott tell the stories of the strong women they were, according to Elliott. They also became learning labs for elementary and high school students, who were invited to watch the production and filming process, and who studied the stories behind the films. (Go here rent “Te Ata” on YouTube.)
“They were living individuals, and it was important to us that there were Chickasaw early in the formation of Oklahoma and around the country who were contributing and being active members of society,” Elliott said. . “[People] who have helped shape the policies that have emerged and have helped right some wrongs. “
Montford Thomas Johnson
Chickasaw Nation’s most recent release, “Montford: The Chickasaw Rancher”, which premiered on Netflix on November 1, tells the story of Montford Thomas Johnson, who fought against discrimination to build a ranching operation that has expanded into central Oklahoma.
“The story of Montford Johnson is also the story of the Chickasaw Nation,” Governor Anoatubby said. “He went through tough times. He was able to resist adversity. It became a success.
According to Governor Anoatubby, cinematic ways of telling stories are part of the strengths of the Chickasaw Nation. “Montford” is the perfect vehicle to describe the Chickasaw grain.
“Film production is part of our effort to tell the story of the Chickasaw people,” Governor Anoatubby said. “We got involved in making films because filmmaking is a great way to tell our own stories and to illustrate the important role the Chickasaw have played in American history.”
The next chapter in Chickasaw filmmaking will take a look at one of the country’s greatest stories.
The film, which is working as “Ackia”, will describe the role played by the Chickasaw Nation in driving the French out of the central part of what would one day become the United States.
“It’s a very big project,” said Elliott, adding that the production will tell the role of the Chickasaw in the battle that led to the French retreat from modern America. The aforementioned tribe blockade traffic on the Mississippi River sparked a confrontation with the French, who attempted to kill or enslave the Chickasaw people in retaliation.
A film adaptation of the book “Chula the Fox” is also in production, the story of a Chickasaw boy who enters a tribal war after an ambush takes the life of his father. “ChulaIs printed by a Chickasaw Nation publishing house, White Dog Press.
And in addition to print and film, the Chicksaw Nation also tells its stories on the radio.
Here are some scenes from the set of “Montford: The Chickasaw Rancher”.
A version of this article appeared on the Dallas Regional Chamber website.
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