Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Award-Winning Independent Film, Indian Horse, Opens in Bemidji

Novel Turned Motion Picture Opens at Bemidji Theatre March 1


February 20, 2019

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - February 19, 2019 - The best-selling novel turned into an award-winning feature film with executive producer Clint Eastwood, INDIAN HORSE, makes its Minnesota debut at the Bemidji Theatre on March 1.

Recounting the remarkable journey of Saul Indian Horse, an Ojibway child torn from his family and placed in one of the most notorious Canadian Catholic residential schools, INDIAN HORSE brings to light destructive government policies in North America when Indigenous children were rounded up on reserves and reservations and placed in boarding schools to “save the man but kill the Indian.”

The film, based on Ojibway author Richard Wagamese’s best-selling novel under the same name, was created under the advisement of two Ojibway residential school survivors and elders, with the collaboration of two Anishnawbek Nations in Canada. The film stars Minnesota resident Ajuawak Kapashesit (INDIAN ROAD TRIP, ONCE UPON A RIVER), who is Cree from Ontario and Ojibway from Minnesota. Kapashesit plays the lead role of adult Saul who begins to navigate the world of professional hockey.

Winner of 19 film awards, including awards for Best Actor (Ajuawak Kapshesit), Best Supporting Actor (Wayne Baker) and Best Supporting Actress (Eva Greyeyes) at the Red Nation International Film Festival and the Kumeyaay Award for Indigenous heritage at the San Diego International Film Festival, INDIAN HORSE sold out theaters nationwide in Canada. The film aided in propelling the movement of healing and reconciliation, including the social campaign #Next150, following the aftermath of 150 years of residential school.

In June 2008, the first national apology was made to First Nations families and students of residential schools, which was followed by current Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s statement in 2017, “While this long overdue apology will not undo the harm done, we offer it as a sign that we as a government and as a country accept responsibility for our failings. It is our shared hope that we can learn from this past and continue to advance our journey of reconciliation and healing. We have the power to be better and to do better.”

Nearly 10 years after a nationwide Truth and Reconciliation Commission was created in Canada to address these detrimental policies, the commission issued its final report in 2015 calling for changes health care, education and other vital areas. #Next150 outlined 21 online actions where audiences challenged themselves and participate in reconcili-Action. More than 10,000 people engaged in this movement after seeing INDIAN HORSE.

Also featuring Forrest Goodluck (THE REVENANT, THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST), Navajo/Hidatsa, Mandan and Tsimshian, as teen Saul in INDIAN HORSE, Forrest’s character takes his love of hockey as a boy and develops it to eventually lead him to the pros. First-time actor Sladen Peltier, who plays young Saul, was nominated for Best Supporting Actor at the Canadian Screen Awards for his role in the film. The film is directed by Clint Eastwood’s longtime cameraman, Stephen Campanelli (GRAND ISLE, now in production, THE MULE, MOMENTUM).

A press kit and press notes are available here. A digital screener for press review is available upon request. Please go to for more information.


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