For the first time, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes are sharing the award-winning film, In the Spirit of ʔAtatíc̓eʔ: The Untold Story of the National Bison Range with the public.

“After fielding a lot of questions about how and when people can see the film, the Tribes are happy to share it with the public,” said Robert McDonald, the Tribes’ Communications Director.  “While this is the Tribes’ history, it is also everyone’s history.”

The film was previously only shown at select events and film festivals, we saw it last year at The Wilma.

In the Spirit of ʔAtatíc̓eʔ” shares the true story, long told by Tribal elders but not widely shared until now, of how buffalo first came to the Flathead Indian Reservation. Audiences will learn how the unthinkable came to pass in the nineteenth century as buffalo, slaughtered to the edge of extinction, began to fade from the landscape until a Ql̓ispé (Pend d ’Oreille) man named ʔAtatíc̓eʔ (Falcon Robe) and his son Ɫatatí (Little Falcon Robe) helped the bison survive by bringing buffalo calves over the Continental Divide and starting a herd on the Reservation. In the face of devastation, these men did what they could and made a world of difference for us all.

 

The film depicts the Salish, Ql̓ispé and Kootenai peoples’ ongoing struggles, against the backdrop of seismic disruptions to their communities and cultures, to prevail in their efforts to care for the buffalo. Using a cross-section of Tribal members to relate their history, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and filmmaker Daniel Glick produced the film to unveil a narrative that continues to reverberate today.

The film was produced in 2018 and was screened earlier this year at the Flathead Lake International Cinemafest, as well as being an Official Selection for the 2019 International Wildlife Film Festival, and winning the Audience Choice award at the 2019 Bigfork Independent Film Festival. See all 28 minutes of it below.