About this submission

This is the beginning of a story about my Great-Great Grandfather, who helped save the buffalo from extinction by capturing, and raising buffalo calves in the early 1900’s. His herd became the family that is now considered the last genetically “pure” wild buffalo herd in North America. This herd lives in Yellowstone National Park, and is in danger of becoming extinct.
My journey to save the buffalo is a personal story of waking in my grandfathers footsteps, a hundred years later. Only I’m not a rancher, and I will have to use filmmaking to try and save them this time.

Creator
Las Vegas, NV, USA
Concordia Studio Artist-in-Residence. 2017 Sundance Institute Producer’s Fellow. 2016 Redford Center Grantee. I’m an erolled member of the Colville Confederated Tribes, designing stories that blur the lines between modernity and traditionalism for the betterment of the “New American West.” more...

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Bridge Walkers

The Bridge Walkers documentary was first developed as the centerpiece of a three- screen art installation that was first presented at the de Young Museum in 2012, springing from a commissioned project. Granted the first time use of the de Young Tower, the audience was high above and able to see straight to the Pacific Ocean straight over tree tops, and for a brief moment, consider the landscape of the Ohlone before contact. The two other video screens on display played visual poetry with slight sound blending with the short documentary. Screen One travels Mexico’s sacred sites, exploring the remaining physical structures that inform national and international visitors of the millenary cultures of Mexico, places where education is passed down even today. Screen Two travels San Francisco, places that were once Sacred Shellmounds used by the Ramaytush and other Ohlone and California native people, also thousands of years old, and what stands on the sites now. Shellmounds in San Francisco were destroyed almost completely, giving rise to wonder what my family thought living in San Francisco in 1860 thought when the Shellmound where Ghirideli square now stands was destroyed. I visit these sites, using similar body language as in the Mexico video to demonstrate visually the absence of these sacred centers today in San Francisco and Bay Area. By invitation for an exhibit, I began editing Bridge Walkers in 2019 to be shown as a stand-alone, the version of which I have uploaded. The main people interviewed in the film have consented to the making of the film, and I keep them abreast of public showings, and because I remain involved otherwise in community. I made a short film in 2008 ‘Witness the Healing’ in the process of trying to uncover my own family connections to the Ohlone community and our own lineage. The full 20-year process that spans from the East Coast to California and Mexico is currently being explored in new photo, book and script form. While working and living in Mexico after a Fulbright Fellowship, I made the following: short film ‘From the Same Family: An Intimate Look at Globalization’, and full length documentary ‘Transition’ about the first democratically-elected president in Mexico in more than 70 years. I wanted to contribute back to the community that had embraced me and helped me recover information about my family I never would have found in books, and many of the same people we discovered, were related through marriages and we only recently uncovered new information. Sacred Site preservation is an important mission for the Ohlone community so I did my best to make a film that would bring attention and awareness to the issue to promote understanding and positive action to protect the ancestors and sacred sites.

Catherine Herrera