Indigenous actor, Jhane Myers, cast as “Otter Woman” in Sacajawea, The Windcatcher

The producers of Sacajawea, The Windcatcher, an International feature film project about the life of Sacajawea, are proud to welcome Jhane Myers, award-winning producer and actor for the character of “Otter Woman.”

Jhane (Comanche/ Blackfeet) has garnered awards as a filmmaker, producer, actor, Native adviser and an artist of traditional jewelry and regalia. ​She was selected as one of the featured fine artists for the first ever Comanche Fine Artist calendar for 2016. She is a noted fourth generation dressmaker, third generation doll maker, beadworker and traditional regalia designer. She has worked in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, D.C and NYC, the Wheelwright Museum, the Indian Craft Shop D.C., the Autry Museum, Comanche Visitors Center and the Blackfeet Heritage Center. She was also a Community Curator to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian’s popular exhibition and book “Identity by Design.”

Otter Woman was a significant character in Sacajawea’s story. She was the older Shoshoni wife of Toussaint Charbonneau, the fur trapper who traded a gun for Sacajawea. She did not trust the white men, and she did not want the young mother to go with them.

​“The relationship between Otter Woman and Sacajawea evolved through our story to be more like a mother and daughter. Jhane Myers is perfect for this role. As an Indigenous woman, a mother, who has worked in film for many years through acting and as a liaison for the tribes, she is invaluable to the production and we are so grateful to have her as Otter Woman.”

~ Jane L. Fitzpatrick

Jhane made history as the founding executive director of the American Indian National Center for Television and Film. The Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) formed the Center in Los Angeles, CA, with network partners Disney/ABC, CBS, NBC/Universal and FOX to increase the representation and visibility of American Indian talent in all aspects of the entertainment industry. She made her acting debut in an indie film called Bare (2015). Continuing in film she enjoyed being an associate producer on the PBS documentary La Donna Harris: Indian 101 (2014).

Otter Woman and Sacajawea – Concept Artwork by Marcia K. Moore

Hailing from the Penetuckah (sugar eater) and Yaparucah (root eater) bands of the Comanche Nation and Blackfeet American Indians, Jhane is dedicated to authentic Indigenous film producing, Native languages, Native cultural advising, acting and fine art. Jhane is a Sundance/ Time Warner Storyteller Fellow (2018) and Producer Fellow for (2017). She is known for the Comanche linguistics and culture in Monsters of God (2017), and Comanche linguistics in Magnificent 7 (2016). Multitalented and articulate, Jhane brought her cultural sense of self and Native community to public relations engagements for the film, Wind River (2017) and for her work as supervising producer of N. Scott Momaday: Words from a Bear (2019) for the American Masters Series, and as associate producer for the feature documentary, Defending the Fire (2017). Jhane can also be seen on camera in the TV series Native America, New World Rising (2018) and in the Sundance short film Over the Bridge (2016). She has also served as publisher and editor-in-chief of Oklahoma Casinos & Entertainment magazine, a motion picture publicist, directed her own public relations agency, Jhane Myers & Associates, and she has worked as a publicist to Mel Gibson on Apocalypto, which included organizing the premier at The Riverwind Casino in Oklahoma.

The entire production team for the Sacajawea film welcomes Jhane Myers to the project. They believe she will bring vital authenticity to the character of Otter Woman and as a producer on the project, she will also speak to accuracy and the critical Native American elements Sacajawea’s story deserves.

Learn more about Jhane on IMDB at: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm6661151/

Life is a journal full of discovery!

Journals help us remember experiences, hopes and dreams that form and shape us. For Ages, journaling has been a part of most cultures and traditions. In 1805-06, words written into journals chronicled the Lewis and Clark Expedition, which gave us a unique understanding of what happened on that journey.

As Sacajawea traveled with the Corps of Discovery, the captains and several other explorers wrote about her in their journals. One powerful entry gives us a snapshot of Sacajawea’s determination. But, to appreciate the grandness of this entry, we have to remember Sacajawea was a slave, she was a kidnapped, Native young woman living at a time when men dominated. So, for these men to actually write about her was astounding. But, for her to feel she could voice her opinion showed her incredible inner strength and character.

In this entry, Sacajawea had not seen the Great Water, and she wanted to so badly. She knew they would be returning east soon. So when the captains said they were going to the ocean to see a whale that had washed ashore, instead of being silent, Sacajawea stood up for herself. Here is the account from Captain Lewis’ journal written January 6, 1806:

“[T]he Indian woman was very impo[r]tunate to be permited to go [to the ocean], and was therefore indulged; she observed that she had traveled a long way with us to see the great waters, and that now that monstrous fish was also to be seen, she thought it very hard she could not be permitted to see either.”

From these and other words, written over 200 years ago, we formed the character of Sacajawea for the feature film, Sacajawea, The Windcatcher. Now is your opportunity to chronicle your own life events, your ideas and your dreams. This beautifully bound, reasonably-priced journal would be a most meaningful Christmas gift for a young person just starting their quest or an older person writing their memories.

Please visit our store for some magnificent gift ideas, and the Journey of Discovery Journal at: https://spiritwindcollection.com/collections/sacajawea-the-windcatcher/products/journal-sacajawea-the-windcatcher-1

Happy Holidays to all!
Jane

Concept Artwork by Marcia K. Moore

The Eagle’s Tree

A great vision is needed and the one who has it must follow it as the eagle seeks the deepest blue of the sky. ~Ta Shunke Witko

In an eagle there is all the wisdom of the world. ~Lame Deer

I am in awe and wonder at Indigenous wisdom and I am so very grateful… During the four years of writing the screenplay, Sacajawea, The Windcatcher, I noticed a bald eagle flying back and forth, nearly every day, across the field outside my office window. He was there in the morning and the evening, always landing on the very top branch of the same evergreen tree. He would slowly turn to survey his domain, so regal, so empowered by his surroundings. It was a mystical wonder, though at the time I did not fully understand why…

But, my research began to show the way. I learned that many Indigenous cultures give names, or take their names, from something they have accomplished or something that has meaning to their personal or spiritual lives. Historical records show that SacaGawea’s name was originally given to her by the Hidatsa people who captured her. The meaning of her name was, “Bird Woman.” So, I knew the birds, the raptors, the flying beings were significant somehow in her life. The Hidatsa saw it and honored it, so her story must honor it, too. I came to understand and believe the eagle was showing me.

This energy within the Sacajawea story grew and evolved as the words came to life, as her character and person began to come forth, and as more magnificent wonders were shown to us as we continued to walk. Symbolically, in the story, the eagle became Sacajawea’s Spiritual guide. He waited at the top of the trees above her… he came to her when she called. And her spirit was embraced, in her heartache, by his tender care.

MYSTICAL WONDERS: While writing this post, I wanted to find a picture of the tree the eagle landed on, near my home. I had to search through the photos from years and years ago… suddenly I was taken aback, in awe. I remembered snapping the picture and at the time not thinking about the tree. It was the rainbow that attracted me then. But this is how Spirit works, it gets our attention… and if we listen and act on our intuition (even though we don’t know everything), later – even years later – the reasons are revealed. You see, in this photo, it is not the rainbow that is the true meaning for us today as I write about the eagle. It is the eagle’s tree and how creation’s rainbow shines upon it. It is an affirmation that we can claim, at this moment, that we are on the right path.

We are truly humbled and blessed by these intricate, Spiritual messages that continue to shine a brilliant light on Indigenous beliefs, cultures and traditions that benefit us all. Through these revelations, I believe Sacajawea is showing us something remarkable, a healing power that will lift up people of the world. It is not about the color of our skin, our ethnicity or anything else – it is about our Universal Spirituality and remembering our Oneness with each other, and respect for the Earth.

Let us soar together on eagle’s wings…

Here are some of the many eagles that have personally led us on this powerful path:

York and Sacajawea

Sacajawea, The Windcatcher, gives us a look at injustice in the early 1800s. Though we have come a distance with racial and gender issues in our country, we have a greater distance to travel. Our storyline presents an awareness we all need to embrace as free human beings.

While this film is Sacajawea’s story, there is another character whose life experience, and future outlook, run parallel to hers… York, Clark’s slave. York is 6’4” tall, with a big, boisterous laugh and a strong, rich singing voice. He is William Clark’s servant from childhood. Therefore, it is fitting that York accompanies Clark on this arduous journey.

In our story, we see York rise as a vital part of the Lewis and Clark expedition. He is looked up to by the Hidatsa and Mandan villagers, who are enamored by his black skin and long, curly hair – they think he is a “god.”

Fort Mandan, North Dakota

And even though he is a slave, on the expedition he is “allowed” to carry a gun and he is free to roam alone over the hillsides, hunt and protect the men. He is trusted, even though it is out of necessity.

Many evenings, around the campfire, York sings slave songs and dances with baby Pomp in his arms, delighting the soldiers. He loves Sacajawea’s child and greatly helps her on this harrowing trek.

One of the most powerful scenes in this film is at Station Camp, near the mouth of the Columbia River. It is November, and the corps must vote on where to build their winter fort. This is an official government decision, and as Sacajawea and York look on, they are astonished when Captain Clark asks them both to join the vote. An Indigenous woman and a black slave called to vote, before they even have the right to vote. This is a magnificent and empowering scene.

The Great Water, 1806

But, there is a constant shadow hanging over York…  knowing he will have to return to his life as a slave. As he stands with Sacajawea at the ocean, he watches the rhythmic, unending waves with deep sadness. And, he says to her, “I be almost free here, now… but soon we go back.”

Sacajawea and York are both slaves in their own way. They cannot live their lives in freedom. The small freedoms they experience on the expedition, are not totally by choice. Yet, they both rise and embrace what they should always have, as people. Years later, Captain Clark acknowledges Sacajawea’s contributions and eventually gives York his freedom.

As with so many over the Ages, the treatment of these two human beings was not acceptable. But, our story shows the relationships and how the soldiers, in that snapshot of history, were able to accept them as individuals, even though it was out of need. We will never know if this changed the lives of these men in any way after they returned east. 

But, one thing we believe, in that short moment in time, Sacajawea and York became relevant for us today. The darkness, the injustice, reveals the light. Their stories reveal the light. We are on a quest to open the doors wider, to help the light shine brighter, to bring the voice of truth to the world through this diverse and unique Journey of Discovery, so aptly named.

ONWARD!
Jane

Award-winning Cinematographer, Robert Shacklady, Joins Sacajawea, The Windcatcher!

Sacajawea, The Windcatcher, an International feature film production about the life of Sacajawea, is proud to welcome award-winning cinematographer, Mr. Robert Shacklady, as Director of Photography.

Robert is an internationally renowned cinematographer with a long track record of awards for the projects he has worked on around the globe. He is a voting BAFTA member and a member of the GBCT (Guild of British Camera Technicians). His wealth of experience comes from years in the film industry. Over his career, he shot for iconic brands such as BMW, McLaren, Ford, Boohoo, Philips, LG and he has worked with A-list actors such as Tom Hardy, Keanu Reeves, Leonardo DiCaprio and Daniel Craig, at some of the most amazing locations around the world including South Korea, Thailand, South Africa, Morocco, Sweden and Mexico.

Robert shot many feature films in the past, and he is currently cinematographer for several upcoming productions. He also worked on blockbusters such as Casino Royale; The World is Not Enough; The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising; Entrapment; Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, and The Beach. He shot several TV series including, Shadows of Death; award-winning, Serial Killer: Angel of Decay and additional photography for the Period series Sanditon. Robert’s diverse work has also included documentaries such as The Queen and the Coup about Queen Elizabeth II. 

Robert has the unique ability to combine classical filmmaking with cutting edge technologies, technics, and innovations. This creative understanding allows him to achieve a sumptuous cinematic look and style for each film.

“Sacajawea’s story is an epic tale set against the backdrop of amazing natural beauty.  I am really looking forward to cinematically translating her emotional journey for audiences to embrace and enjoy.”

~ Robert Shacklady

The Sacajawea team is extremely fortunate to have attracted Robert Shacklady as cinematographer for the production. With its majestic, cinematic locations, its epic scope, and the deeply personal insight of Sacajawea, Robert will capture her relationship with not only nature and her surroundings but also with the Indigenous vision she sees through her own eyes. 

The entire production team is humbled and grateful to welcome Robert Shacklady to this important film that honors the contributions of all women in history, from around the world.  www.warriorwomanspirit.com

ONWARD!

For more about Robert and his dynamic career, please visit IMDB at:

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0787117/?ref_=ttfc_fc_cr14

Kaären F. Ochoa to Direct the Epic Film, Sacajawea, The Windcatcher

Sacajawea, The Windcatcher, an International feature film project about the life of Sacajawea, is proud to welcome Kaären F. Ochoa to the production team, as Director.

Kaären is an award-winning filmmaker, with three DGA Award nominations, the New Mexico Women in Film Sage Award for dedication and leadership in the film industry, and induction into the New Mexico Film & Television Hall of Fame this year. Two documentaries she wrote and field directed, as part of the La Raza Series for ABC/McGraw-Hill, were nominated for the Peabody Award.

With over 30 years in the film industry, Kaären has the knowledge and expertise to bring the character of Sacajawea to life – her history, power, perseverance and passion – all seen from Sacajawea’s perspective – on one of the most significant journeys in United States history. 

 “Jane Fitzpatrick has written a compelling and suspenseful script that allows us a window into the life and world of Sacajawea as she might have experienced it. A natural world that was wild and beautiful, capricious and often terrifying. A world that was known by the Native people who lived and died, summered and wintered, hunted and birthed within it, but was ‘unknown’ by late-arriving white men who had not yet travelled and trampled it. In this portrayal, Sacajawea is not defined by Lewis and Clark’s expedition, their expedition is defined by Sacajawea.”

~ Kaären F. Ochoa

A member of the Directors Guild of America (DGA) since 1986, Kaären has worked as Assistant Director on such films as Milagro Beanfield War and A River RunsThrough It, both with Robert Redford directing; Crazy Heart, directed by Scott Cooper, with Jeff Bridges; Appaloosa, directed by Ed Harris; Selena, directed by Gregory Nava with Jennifer Lopez; Georgia O’Keeffe, directed by Bob Balaban, with Joan Allen and Jeremy Irons and most recently, the Disney film Stargirl. Her television work includes the mini-series Return to Lonesome Dove, Crazy Horse and Into the West. She AD’d the pilots for Breaking Bad and In Plain Sight and Season 2 of The Girlfriend Experience. As Unit Production Manager for Proof of Life, directed by Taylor Hackford, with Meg Ryan and Russell Crowe, she spent a year in Ecuador in 2000. In 2011, she was the U.S. Line Producer/UPM on the feature Gambit, starring Colin Firth and Cameron Diaz.

Kaären’s career began in Los Angeles as a writer, co-producer and director on documentaries and children’s films for ABC and PBS. She became a member of the newly formed Women in Film in Los Angeles and later a founder of New Mexico Women in Film, a board member for many years and past president. Since directing three short films, her current writing projects include the rewrite of a feature film in development, which would be her next directing project after Sacajawea, The Windcatcher.

Kaären has enjoyed mentoring other women and men, including many who are now active, long-time filmmakers. She is most proud of her daughter, 1st AD Chemen Ochoa, and her son, David Ochoa, who are both professionals in the film industry.

A mesa top, near Abiquiu, New Mexico, is home to Kaären and her husband, artist Doug Coffin (Potowatomi/Creek), where they enjoy good wine from their cellar and the beautiful views of Georgia O’Keeffe country. The entire Sacajawea production team welcomes Kaären F. Ochoa to the project, as they continue onward to produce this worldwide, epic film.

The Windcatchers!

Darkness Reveals Light

Darkness revealing light is what Sacajawea’s life shows us… She was a Native American woman from 1805. She was a stolen child, an orphan, a slave – abused and forced in so many ways.

Sacajawea had no voice and she saw hardship throughout her young days. She was sometimes sick and mostly sad, and her husband tried at every turn to control her fate based on his own selfish Will.

Throughout Sacajawea, The Windcatcher, we sense that this young woman’s greater self is at work. Yes, she uses her knowledge of tradition, ceremony and Mother Earth to be an important and valuable member of the expedition. But, we also sense something deeper – she claims a great wisdom in her spirit, even before she knows it. She walks this dark, harrowing quest, until she awakens to the sun and finds it is her own brilliant light.

We are going through the darkness right now in our own lives. But, it is different than usual, because we are all, collectively, walking together with the same pain, sadness, worry and fear… It is a wonder how we can be so at odds, when we could choose to awaken and love each other, no matter what. If we claimed our wisdom, we would find a light to guide us out of this place together.

History tells us, life was not easy or perfect for Sacajawea. And, though she may not have understood it in words, her Elders had taught her from a young age about the darkness and the light on EVERY path. It didn’t matter what was happening around her, she came to believe she was walking where she was called to go. I wonder if she ever imagined that her illuminating light would be seen for generations – that her spirit would be felt, for all time!

Through the darkest spaces, Sacajawea continues to see the sun…and so can we. Come with us, let us walk toward that sun, let us learn through our darkest times that we are all One, and we can get through this together. Let us become aware of our own magnificent and transparent Light.  ~ Spirit Wind

Senior Producer, Martin Nuza, joins Sacajawea, The Windcatcher!

Sacajawea The Movie, LLC, and the production team, are proud to welcome Mr. Martin Nuza as Senior Producer, for the production of Sacajawea, The Windcatcher.

Mr. Martin Nuza, Senior Producer

Martin brings a powerful leadership background to this epic project, having worked in the film industry since 2005. He is an International, award-winning screenwriter, producer and director of documentary and feature film productions. In addition, Martin is also a published author having two novels published in the United Kingdom. Promises: The Mason Ordeal ISBN 075411-371-X (Minerva Press) UK in 2002, and Promises: Emily’s Harrowing story ISBN 978 1 84693 0379 (Best Publishing) UK in 2007.

In February 2020, Martin won “Best Original Story” & “Best Screenplay” awards at the “Vegas Movie Awards” film festival for his screenplay A Cannibal Mind. Many of Martin’s films are based on historical events, including Historical WWII documentaries such as Operation Felix in 2007 and Operation Tracer in 2012, which he produced and directed. In 2019, he wrote and produced The Woods Encounters, directed by Pedro Sanchez Roman. The film won many International top awards, and on two occasions, Martin won the top “Best Producer” award from the “Oniros Film Awards,” in Italy, and again at the “Vegas Movie Awards” in the States, in July 2020. In 2019, Martin was Executive Producer for the award-winning feature film, The Shepherd, by Laszlo Illes, which won many top International awards. He was also Executive Producer for the award-winning feature film Scotland, by Manish Vatssalaya, which also won many top International awards, and it was selected for the first round of the “92nd Academy Awards” in 2020, for best picture, along with 331 other feature films. These are just a few award-winning productions from Martin’s incredible background. He is currently producing the feature film, Capture the Flag, directed by Massimiliano Cerchi and written by Earl Tom Devere & Nikki Durbin, as senior producer for Dragonslayer Entertainment LLC.

After over ten years, striving to bring this story to fruition, the Sacajawea production team is truly humbled and grateful that Martin Nuza, a visionary and film professional, has joined the project. When they first communicated, Martin saw the innate, spiritual message in Sacajawea’s story. His passion for the project will ignite the team and guide them as they continue their quest to bring this young explorer’s life to film. Martin’s words say it best:

“Let us make an epic movie and inspire the world. God Bless.” ~Martin Nuza

Sacajawea’s life has never been portrayed in a feature film and it deserves a worthy International team. The producers believe Martin will take this production to the highest epic level, shining a bright light on a message of hope, Oneness, peace and respect for the earth.

ONWARD! We soar on eagle’s wings!

For more about Martin and his magnificent career, please visit the Internet Movie Database: IMDB

The World Awaits

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Nineteen months ago, when we shot our teaser reel at Fort Stevens State Park, I walked along the sand excited and thinking about the very next steps for Sacajawea, The Windcatcher. Sacajawea had shown us many wonders that week and I knew in my soul, if we just kept walking we would reach our dream soon!

I remember feeling tearful looking at the landscape because this was her exact view of Cape Disappointment over 200 years ago. And the waves crashing onto the beach were just like they were in 1806, near where she walked. Each of us was moved and touched by her energy that day, and I believe she was moved and touched by ours…

What was she thinking all those years ago? That is a powerful thought, for she had been through so very much! And she had many unknowns ahead, just like us.

When this picture was taken, we never anticipated what we would be facing in 2020. As we look back to 2019, life seemed easier then, we didn’t have the kind of worries and concerns we have today. We hadn’t lost loved ones and friends to an illness that was so unknown.

But one thing is certain for us, just like it was for Sacajawea, we have the power to change the energy, to lift the burdens of others, to embrace the challenges we face in faith. And we know the story about this warrior woman spirit, will be vital to our world once humanity is ready to see and hear it. And, despite how hard it is at the moment, this virus is taking our hearts to a different place. Indeed, a place to receive her message of Oneness, Peace, Love and respect for the Earth.

Sacajawea, The Windcatcher, is COMING SOON! Believe it!

#sacajaweathemovie
#sacajaweathewindcatcher
#warriorwomanspirit
#2020VISION

Let Us Shift toward Greatness

Eyes of Sacajawea redA brief moment of history had a powerful effect on a New Age, as a group of individuals, the Corps of Discovery, successfully accomplished something together despite their differences. They were soldiers and traders with diverse backgrounds, a black slave who was virtually free on the trek, and a brave, strong warrior woman who endured over 4000 miles with a child on her back. We are still moved and affected by the choices they made together.

Sacajawea, despite her disappointment and sorrow, brought meaning to the group. She was purposeful and determined, knowledgeable and respectful. She was unselfish, yet she had a mind-of-her-own and was not afraid to speak it. Sacajawea did not know then, but she was walking toward a new paradigm for the world…

As a kidnapped Shoshoni girl, a very young mother, Sacajawea had made enormous adjustments and shifts in her personal life up to this point. But she could not have predicted the future, the disillusionment and abuse of Native Americans. And, as the explorers endured this harrowing journey, they had no idea they were on the brink of wider racism, slavery and isolation of a people. A paradigm shift toward the hardening hearts of Humanity.

As with the Universe and all of life, paradigm shifts are moved by positive and negative energy, good and evil forces, light and dark. Humanity plays a key role in how civilizations live and act with each other through time. It is the power of choice that establishes social changes for generations. These choices manipulate and motivate the decisions that define an Era – and not always for the good.

In our time, we are living through unbelievable sickness and death, insufferable economic hardship and intolerable racism. We can be assured the choices we make now, are a pivotal part of our collective journey, vital for Humanity going forward.

We have a great opportunity and purpose to change the conversations of the past, to shine a light on injustice and racism, to stand as One People for All People. What we do now will absolutely set a new and powerful paradigm shift.

It is our time to choose the way ahead, and part of the way is to tell the story of Sacajawea with her life-changing message of Oneness, Peace and Love for Humanity and the Earth. We are privileged to live at this exciting time – indeed, a time of Awakening. Let us press onward to a vision of Truth on the very path Sacajawea and many others were willing to walk – through the darkness, yet always stepping toward the Light.

ONWARD!

Jane

– Digital Art by Marcia K. Moore, Concept Artist