PAIGE BETHMANN (HAUDENOSAUNEE)
Paige is a director/producer based in Reno, Nevada. Over the last 10 years, Paige has worked in non-fiction television for various digital and broadcast networks such as Vox Media, Facebook, Youtube Originals, USA and NBC. Her latest project, Emmy nominated series ‘Glad You Asked’ centered around issues of racial injustice and premiered in July of 2021. Paige is currently a Logan Non-Fiction Fellow and 2022 PGA Create fellow. Her debut feature film, ‘Remaining Native,’ has also been supported by the IDA Logan Elevate Grant and the Tracksmith Fellowship. A graduate of Ithaca College, Paige has a bachelor’s degree in Film, Television, and Radio from the Park School of Communications. Remaining Native will be her directorial debut.
When I was a little girl, I used to sit at my grandmother’s feet and listen to her tell stories about the Haudenosaunee. A traditional Mohawk storyteller, she explained to me how the birds got their songs, how maple syrup was made, and who Sky Woman was. Story after story I was in awe of my grandmother and her ability to articulate every detail from memory. One day I asked her how she could recall these stories without a book. She smiled and said, “when stories are passed down they remain in the heart not the head and I always remember what’s in my heart.”
My work as a filmmaker has often been driven by stories that encourage introspection. I push myself behind the camera to represent my subjects honestly with the passion that my grandmother had for storytelling. Like Ku and many other Indigenous people, I’m also a descendant of an Indian residential school survivor. My great-grandmother was stolen from the St. Regis Mohawk reservation as a young girl and brought to a catholic boarding school where she suffered physical, sexual, and emotional abuse.
When the news broke of the 215 unmarked graves of Indigenous children in Canada, I felt an obligation as a storyteller, filmmaker, and descendant of a boarding school survivor to become a caretaker of her past and one to those who share a similar story; so much so that when I learned of Ku Stevens and I reached out to him and his family as a complete stranger. When we connected on the phone, we talked about what it was like to see the world reacting to the discoveries at the Kamloops Indian residential school and how the history of residential schools and the horrors of assimilation policy had been taught to both of us at a young age. Most importantly, we talked about the need for healing. For both of us, the goal of his run and my film is to bring awareness to what happened at Indian boarding schools and to shine a light on the resilience of Indigenous people as the country reckons with this dark and undertold history.
BILLY MILLS (OGLALA LAKOTA , SIOUX)
Born and raised on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, Billy Mills (Oglala Lakota) is an Olympic Gold Medalist and National Spokesperson of Running Strong for American Indian Youth, a national non-profit organization he co-founded in 1986. After his Olympic victory in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics in the 10,000 meter race, Billy co-founded Running Strong as a way to give back to the Native community that raised and empowered him. Billy travels to tribal communities across the country encouraging Native youth to follow their dreams and harness the power of their cultural values to impact the world.