One man's struggle to take his rightful place as the last male blood descendant of the famed Lakota Chief Spotted Elk, aka, "Bigfoot."
“Hakela: The Last One” chronicles the story of Lakota tribal member Calvin Spotted Elk, the great-great-grandson of the famed Lakota Chief Spotted Elk, erroneously known as “Big Foot,” who, along with over 300 members of his Minneconjou band were massacred at a place called Wounded Knee Creek in December, 1890.
Our Kickstarter.com funding will be used for a production trip to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation at the end of 2011. Significant events that are key to our story are happening at that time and it is essential that we are there to film them. We will also film several important interviews while we are there and shoot footage with Calvin as he visits the Oglala Lakota College, which has one of the largest collections of archives and documents related to the 1890 Wounded Knee Massacre. When we return from the production trip the additional footage and interviews will be edited into a new work in progress sample which will be used to apply for funding from ITVS, Native American Public Telecommunications, and National Geographic's All Roads Seed Grant.
With unlimited access to the Spotted Elk family, the filmmakers will
chronicle and investigate the lineage
claims of Calvin Spotted Elk as well as others on the Pine Ridge and
Cheyenne River Sioux Reservations. The film will briefly recount the
Wounded Knee Massacre primarily from the Lakota perspective in order for
viewers to fully comprehend the tragedy and lasting impact of the
massacre on the survivors and their descendants.
We will follow Calvin as he navigates the obstacles of his own tribal council, the bureaucratic red tape of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, as well as the federal government as he invokes federal law, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) for the return of Spotted Elk’s pipe from the Woods Memorial Library in Barrie, Massachusetts. Finally, we will be there with Calvin when he publicly confronts museum officials in order to bring national media attention to his struggle. Through research, lawyers, genealogists, prayer and non-violent protest, Calvin is committed to fulfill his promise and we will be there to film his entire journey from a small, impoverished reservation to the halls of congress if necessary.
This story, like so many Native American narratives is steeped in an American history too often brought to television audiences through the prism of non-Native experiences and biases. Accuracy, representation, and authenticity are vital components to the presentation of Native histories to a wider non-Native audience. “Hakela” will present non-Native PBS audiences with a balanced, yet uniquely Lakota perspective of this often misrepresented chapter of Native American history through the personal, contemporary journey of Calvin Spotted Elk.
The primary filmmakers (Ojibway and Lakota), will rely on their combined 40-plus years of filmmaking in Native Communities to bring Calvin’s story to light through a combination of interviews, cinema vérité, stylizied imagery, motion graphics and animation set to a soundtrack scored by Anishinabeg recording artist Keith Secola (Homeland). Native American filmmakers and technicians will fill key production roles whenever possible, and paid internships for aspiring Native filmmakers will be available when shooting on location in South Dakota. A real-time video blog will also be used to track the story of Calvin’s journey paralleling the progress of the film. To date, research and development, and the work in progress sample video have been funded entirely by Turtle Island Productions. Visit www.hakelathemovie.com for more information and view a longer 13 minute work in progress sample.
Miigwtch (Thank You) for your support.
James M Fortier (Producer/Director)
Message From Calvin Spotted Elk
I'd like to thank you for your support of our project. This story has generated so much interest we have already reached our "friends" limit on my Calvin Spotted Elk Facebook Page, so we have started a new one honoring my late father Jasper. If you have not already joined our Facebook community, we'd like to encourage you to friend us at Jasper Spotted Elk on Facebook where we acknowledge those who have supported our efforts. In addition, please feel free to browse our photo albums which have a lot of our supporting documentation and ongoing research. We welcome you to our community and thank you once again.
Custom T-Shirt Design by Calvin Spotted Elk for pledges starting at $25
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
pledged of $15,000 goal
seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful This project reached the deadline without achieving its funding goal on December 7, 2011.
Nov 6, 2011 - Dec 7, 2011
Pledge $5 or more
Create Community Caring People “Oyate Chante Wacanteognake” (literally, people-heart-generosity) Contribute $5 and get your name on the film's website and Facebook pages. Spread the word, write a comment and help continue production on this important story!Estimated delivery: Jan 2012
Pledge $10 or more
Warm your heart and ours to. “Chante okaliya ma ya ye” (literally, you warm my heart) Together, we can make great things happen by shedding light onto this important story. A Big Thank you on the film's website and Facebook Page and a promotional postcard from the producer.Estimated delivery: Jan 2012
Pledge $25 or more
Grateful Filmmakers “Pila ma ya” A Special Thank you on the film's website and Facebook pages, a personal e-postcard from the Calvin Spotted Elk, and promotional T-Shirt from artwork designed by Calvin Spotted Elk featuring Chief Spotted Elk.Estimated delivery: Feb 2012
Pledge $50 or more
Special Thanks To… “Wopila” All of the above plus your name in films credits “Special Thanks To…”Estimated delivery: Feb 2012
Pledge $75 or more
Big Smile From Filmmakers A Special Thank you on the film's website and Facebook pages, a personal e-postcard from Calvin, your name in the films credits, and a DVD of Hakela: The Last One, upon completion.Estimated delivery: Dec 2012
Pledge $100 or more
Pi la ma ya from all of us “Thanks” A Special Thank you on the film's website and Facebook pages, a personal e-postcard from Calvin, and promotional T-Shirt from artwork designed by Calvin Spotted Elk featuring Chief Spotted Elk, your name in the credits, and a DVD of Hakela: The Last One, upon completion.Estimated delivery: Dec 2012
Pledge $200 or more
Ojioula Wopila Tanka “Very Big Thanks” All the above plus a hand made porcupine quill Lakota medicine wheel 2 x 2.. Support the film and support Lakota artists.Estimated delivery: Dec 2012
Pledge $300 or more
Making Hearts Glad All the above and plus a custom made beaded deer skin bracelet, a personal thank you letter from Calvin. Unemployment among the Lakota is the highest in the nation, so your donation can help out a few Lakota artists while helping us reach our goal too.Estimated delivery: Dec 2012
Pledge $400 or more
A Tear of Joy All the above and plus a custom made beaded deer skin bracelet and dream catcher, a personal thank you letter and signed photograph from Calvin. Support the film and support Lakota artists: your donation can help out a couple of Lakota artists while helping us get back to the reservation to interview and get more voices for this important film.Estimated delivery: Dec 2012
Pledge $500 or more
One Feather Honor A Special Thank you on the film's website and Facebook pages, a personal thank you letter, signed photo and small gift from Calvin, a personal e-postcard from the producer, and promotional T-Shirt from artwork designed by Calvin Spotted Elk featuring Chief Spotted Elk, your name in the credits, and a DVD of Hakela: The Last One, upon completion, Plus a handcrafted traditional Lakota Star Quilt.Estimated delivery: Dec 2012
Pledge $1,000 or more
Associate Producer All of the above plus a credit on the film as Associate Producer, including a custom version of the Chief Spotted Elk T-Shirt with your “Associate Producer” title and a medicine shield handmade made by Calvin Spotted Elk.Estimated delivery: Dec 2012
Pledge $3,000 or more
Executive Producer All the above and front row seats to the premier where you will be honored; plus a personal guided tour (travel and lodging not included) of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation with Calvin Spotted Elk, including the historical account of Chief Spotted Elk’s final days.Estimated delivery: Jun 2013