Sacajawea, The Windcatcher focuses on Native American filmmakers

Jhane Myers
Producer, Actor
Indigenous Advisor

This journey we travel is, without a doubt, the most amazing yet cantankerous trail we’ve ever experienced. It is a mixture of harsh reality in a literal world and a spirituality that truly blows us away at every turn. We are honored to be a part of this mosaic – and feel we are just a piece of the puzzle that once put together, will be so flowing with wisdom and power that each of us who touch this woman’s life, will never be the same.


One of the motivations of this project is the commitment to get it right. To bring to life native culture and characters, authentic words and actions that depict the indigenous people of that time period in the most believable and accurate way. And, more importantly, to beautifully present the “person” of Sacajawea so we deeply connect to who she was, how she lived, and what she felt — yes, a human being we all will want to love and remember.

Susan Funk,
Co-producer
Indigenous Advisor


The most vital and inspiring purpose of this Sacajawea project is to lift up and honor the proud heritage that flows through the blood of Native people. And, to recognize it by selecting Native Americans to be a part of the production team in key positions, including producers, actors and crew. The opportunities are astounding for Native film professionals, not just through the feature film, Sacajawea, The Windcatcher, but also the other productions associated with the film.


Through this project and our invaluable Vision Quest Film Internship program, we intend to give inspiration to the next generation of magic makers. We encourage native women to get involved in their dreams, especially if their dreams are in film. In addition, young men will have the opportunity to explore aspects of the movie industry and further their careers.

Leo Ariwite
Associate Producer
Indigenous Advisor


With Sacajawea as our focal point, we respect and honor women of Native cultures who are considered givers-of-life, healers, visionaries, and they are the vessels that carry history forward so the stories are told. Sacajawea, a Warrior Woman, certainly fits this description, for her contributions were many as a mother and a friend; interpreter and a guide. Her hands and handiwork are woven perfectly into the fabric of life even today, and we are eager to bring this mentor and role model to the spotlight for all to know!

Blessings,
Jane

Leo T. Ariwite, Sacajawea Descendant, Joins the Sacajawea Film as Associate Producer

Captain William Clark wrote this to Sacajawea’s husband, Toussaint Charbonneau, in 1806:

“[Y]our woman who accompanied you that long dangerous and fatigueing rout to the Pacific Ocian and back diserved a greater reward for her attention and services on that rout than we had in our power to give her…”

People of America, we have in our power today to give Sacajawea the acknowledgement and reward she deserves

Leo T. Ariwite, Shoshoni Liaison 2019

I am so very proud and humbled to welcome Leo T. Ariwite, to the Sacajawea production team as Associate Producer. Leo has been on the production for many years as an adviser. He has given us a powerful endorsement that we have cherished for over seven years. Up until now, his quote has only been shared confidentially, but as our Shoshoni liaison, Leo has given us permission to now share it with the world (read it below).

With the telling of her story, Sacajawea, The Windcatcher, we wish to illuminate her quest, and the quest of her People, the Agai’dika Shoshoni. 

The “heart” of this production is the spirit of Sacajawea and her love for her People. This journey transcends time and space. It is mesmerizing and astonishing how this incredible path has unfolded, intersecting lives from 200 years ago, with lives from today.

In 2004, while researching for the script, I came across a petition by Leo. This was during the bicentennial of the Lewis & Clark expedition. In the document, the Agai’dika Shoshoni People were petitioning the Federal government to acknowledge their People and return to them their sacred mountains and the Salmon River and Lemhi River areas in Idaho. Their requests have fallen on deaf ears. 

Over these many years, since our initial contact in 2004, we have met with Leo four times (twice at Fort Hall, Idaho, once at Sacajawea’s birthplace in Salmon, Idaho and last year in Sun Valley). Leo is a valuable adviser, establishing authenticity, and he’s a credible advocate for the project. As a direct descendant of Sacajawea, he is the inspiration we’ve needed through some difficult times, always encouraging us to keep going.

On July 13, 2013, I received this email from Leo. It is his response to the unyielding force that has driven this Sacajawea project now for 17 years.

“Jane,
Your endeavors have brought you to our doorstep and now that the door has opened we must take this journey together as did our people, when ‘they’ came into our country back in 1804/05.

Your quest is still before us as is our journey to return home, and it is with open hearts that we take this walk forward together and re-tell this epic journey in the truthfulness of both our histories.  I am proud to say there is now a light at the end of that long dark tunnel, a future and a place we can call home.  I am grateful for all the work you have done as I have been on this road and now it seems that I have company (you) to educate this great country of our rich heritage.

Perhaps this is a journey we can all complete as friends and as a people and as a country to learn about how my people opened this country to what it is today, the United States of America.  People of all races and nationalities can look at ‘Sacajawea’ and say we came and established ourselves such as she did, and are proud to be Americans.

Please let me know what it is you would want of me and how I may be able to help in this great cause.

Friends always,
Leo T. Ariwite, Agai’dika Shoshoni”

As a country, this is the least we can do for this woman who gave of herself in so many meaningful ways. We must come together, we must rise to a higher place and do the right thing for Indigenous People. This is the “greater reward” Captain Clark could not give.

You can join this quest of “two centuries.” You can be a part of history and changing our world. You can help to share the truth about this part of our journey and shine a light on the discrimination of the past toward Native Americans and toward women – discrimination that is still with us today. We must stand together!  Sacajawea, The Windcatcher is OUR story, an American story, it is only fitting that WE tell it together! And, it is a story for the world!

Thank you, Leo, for your Indigenous wisdom and dynamic support. Thank you for your calm determination. We formally welcome you to our team!

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:

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

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

One Woman’s Life

the river June 2019

What will you do in your life? Will you just exist day to day or will you venture out, being a watcher of your heart? What do know, what is written there that you cannot ignore? And are you willing to go the distance?

Sacajawea, The Windcatcher is a journey of one woman’s life, yet as watchers of Sacajawea’s life, we bring her journey to ourselves.

She walked, she talked, she sang, she prayed on smoke to the Great Father. She knew joy and she knew pain… indeed, she had a dream written on her heart that she could see.

Over the last 31 years, I have visited many places where she had been, and I have felt her spirit with me. From Three Forks, MT, where she was kidnapped, to the Hidatsa village site in North Dakota, where cranes danced above my head, to the Oregon beaches where she saw a great whale and sent her prayers to every shore.

Take the visual journey of the places she has been, and as you see each photo, be a watcher of her dream. This is to be an epic film about a brief moment of time in the life of this soul who lived. Yes, she lived and loved… and had a dream we are making real.

ONWARD!
Jane

CLICK to see the images of her walk:

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Higher Ground

Night great water

Boinair (Sacajawea) faced many hardships in her life. Though we have spoken of them before in this blog, we want to look at her life in a different way. It is 1800, in the early morning hours of a dark, sad day. Boinair has been stolen away from those she loves.

20191029_101115When she awakens, she finds her wrists and ankles are bound, and she is tied to a tree. Young women and children sob and cry around her, they are hungry and hurting both inside and out. Through yesterday’s chaos, Boinair remembers catching sight of her mother and grandmother, and wonders if she will ever see them again… Her world has turned dark, and she can only think of one thing – how to escape!

Thoughts for today…

“If Sacajawea’s life had been easy, we may never have seen her spirit revealed to us in our time. She may never have become the icon she is today, to the children’s children of the world.”

If she had grown up on the prairie and the mountains, married her betrothed, had children and lived happily-ever-after, we most likely would never have heard her name – and her existence would have been lost in time.

Saca chief wonderingIronically, it is the darkness around her that made us aware of her light. She was stolen away – and in that terrible moment, our story began…

 

Sacajawea’s trials and tribulations opened doors that she never imaged existed. She knew her Spirit was unstoppable because she was able to recognize a powerful path through the darkness by Being the light, and that is a divine trait.

She was strong to stand her ground, and even though she was a Native American woman in 1805, with all the injustice and prejudice around her, she refused to succumb to it. Sacajawea was “awake and aware.” Her ego did not guide her, for she knew she had a higher calling, from a higher Being, and there was a higher ground to walk.

It is a choice we make when we see something greater in ourselves and in humanity. Though, like Sacajawea’s life, our world seems chaotic at the moment. But, nothing is more powerful than our own choice to change it.

~ Spirit Wind

Sacajawea Welcomes Randy Hillman to the Team!

SACAJAWEA UPDATE!

Randy Hillman
Randy Hillman, VP of Financial Development, Dragonslayer Entertainment

We are so happy and grateful to be sharing this wonderful news about Sacajawea, The Windcatcher. We welcome to our team, Randy Hillman, Vice President of Financial Development at Dragonslayer Entertainment LLC. He is also a consultant and independent contractor for films unrelated to Dragonslayer.

Randy has some amazing connections and he’s made dynamic steps for the Sacajawea production! In fact, we believe great news is just around the corner with exciting times ahead.

I want to thank Randy for his truly sincere character and knowledge. He has been wonderful to work with and we’ve enjoyed hearing stories from his long career in film. He’s walking a spiritual journey and that touches me, personally, and our entire team.

Watch for things to be happening! Watch for doors to be opening! Watch for the miracles that are already here! Thank you, Randy Hillman, you are a miracle!

Let us each be a Symbol of Peace for the world.

Sacajawea symbol of peaceThe spelling (and meaning) of Sacajawea’s name is controversial. In honoring her Shoshoni people we have written her name with a “j” (Sacajawea) in the screenplay, SACAJAWEA, The Windcatcher, because the story is through her eyes.

Historians record, through the Lewis & Clark journals and some Hidatsa people, that the spelling is with a “g” (Sacagawea meaning “Bird Woman” in Hidatsa). And, there are other spellings of her name, as well (like Sakakawea).

We believe our mission is to bring people together around the person of Sacaj(g)wea. It is our passion to celebrate her life. Therefore, we have created a spearhead that we hope becomes a “Symbol of Peace.” Using the medicine wheel (representing all races) for the bowl of the “g” and red feathers for the “j” (representing the vermillion Sacajawea wore for peace and “women warriors,” who struggle around the world) we have created a powerful, unifying symbol that embraces us all.

The words of Sacajawea’s story compel us to open our hearts, enhanced by the magnificent artwork, by Marcia K Moore, and the meaningful and creative design of the red feather, by Shawna Neece Fitzpatrick. This dynamic symbol of the “g-j” represents a collaboration of women and we believe it will ignite Sacajawea’s spiritual purpose to soar as a whirlwind around the world.