Lily Gladstone Narrating Documentary About Buffalo Conservation


Following her Oscar-nominated role in Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon,” Lily Gladstone is narrating and executive producing a new documentary titled “Bring Them Home,” about a Blackfeet initiative to bring buffalo back to the wild and reclaim centuries of Indigenous tradition.
Directed by Blackfeet brother-sister duo Ivan MacDonald and Ivy MacDonald, as well as Daniel Glick, the 85-minute feature will premiere at Big Sky Documentary Film Festival on Feb. 24. The screening will take place at 6 p.m. and is sponsored by The Nature Conservatory.
“Bring Them Home” follows a decades-long effort by members of the “Blackfoot Confederacy” to bring buffalo back to the Blackfeet Reservation. The film examines the role the buffalo, or “iinnii,” played in Blackfeet life before settlers killed millions of the species in an attempt to eradicate the tribe.
“For Blackfeet, the buffalo are seen not only as fundamental to a healthy ecosystem, but as spiritual relatives,” reads a press release for the documentary. “Their removal from the land meant the loss of the Blackfeet way of life, the trauma of which still reverberates today.”
Gladstone, who grew up on the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana and whose family is involved in buffalo restoration work, said of the film, “‘Bring them Home’ highlights a crucial story of survival; of Iinnii, our Buffalo, of Blackfoot people and our culture, and of the very land which we call home. Like the Buffalo, our land does not acknowledge fences, and nor does our changing climate. For the Blackfeet, survival of the Buffalo has always been intrinsically connected to our survival as people — the revitalization of this knowledge is essential for not just us, but for all of us who share this planet, and who work to nurture hope for our collective future.”
She added, “Being a part of this essential documentary is one of the most precious collaborations of my life, and I couldn’t be more thrilled for the world to see this absolute labor of love come alive. Niitsiika’tayiikiitsiip to my partners on this project — Ivy, Ivan, Daniel and Sarah; I feel the good in what you’ve done.”
Thunderheart Films
From Thunderheart Films and The Redford Center, the doc follows four main protagonists at the center of the buffalo conservation effort: Ervin Carlson, director of the Blackfeet Buffalo Program; Paulette Fox, co-creator of the Iinnii Initiative; and Leroy Little Bear, a leading tribal elder and educator involved in the Iinnii Initiative. As they work toward returning a wild herd of buffalo that are direct descendants of buffalo that originally inhabited Blackfeet land, they face obstacles from ranchers who view the buffalo as a threat to cattle ranches.
The filmmakers chose to premiere the doc at Big Sky Documentary Film Festival because of its close proximity to the Blackfeet Reservation. The screening will welcome several hundred members of the Blackfeet community, including Gladstone’s family.
Gladstone won a Golden Globe for best actress in a drama for her portrayal of Mollie Kyle in the Osage historical epic “Killers of the Flower Moon,” for which she is also Oscar nominated. The film, also starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro, tells the true story of the Reign of Terror in 1920s Oklahoma, during which members of the Osage Nation were murdered by a criminal ring eager to secure their oil and wealth.
Accepting her Golden Globe, Gladstone opened her speech in the Blackfeet language and thanked her mom, “who, even though she’s not Blackfeet, worked tirelessly to get our language into our classroom so I had a Blackfeet language teacher growing up.”
Gladstone added, “I’m so grateful I can speak even a little bit of my language, which I’m not fluent in, up here. Because, in this business, Native actors used to speak their lines in English, and the sound mixer would run them backwards to accomplish Native languages on camera.”


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