In the Spirit of ʔAtatic̓eʔ

The film In the Spirit of ʔAtatic̓eʔ: The Untold Story of the National Bison Range shares the true story long told by Tribal elders but not widely shared until now. The film was produced by Roy Bigcrane, Shane Morigeau, Brian Upton and Daniel Glick and presented by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes.

From CSKT 

PABLO, MT – For the first time, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes are making publicly available the award-winning film, In the Spirit of ʔAtatíc̓eʔ: The Untold Story of the National Bison Range. The general public will now be able to access the film by either going to the Tribe’s website (, where a link to the film is currently featured on the homepage, or by doing a Google search, or by clicking here. There are three other short videos including a movie trailer, a brief history of the National Bison Range and a short about the importance buffalo’s importance. To see all links, go to and under the MORE pulldown menu will be a VIDEOS link that leads to all four videos. Here is a link to the movie.

“After fielding a lot of questions about how and when people can see the film, the Tribes are happy to share it with the public,” said Robert McDonald, the Tribes’ Communications Director. “While this is the Tribes’ history, it is also everyone’s history.”

As families gather for the Fourth of July, they can now watch the film, which had previously only been shown at select events and film festivals, at their convenience. Anyone with a phone, a device hooked to Wi-Fi, or a computer with Internet access may view the 28-minute film.

 “In the Spirit of ʔAtatíc̓eʔ” shares the true story, long told by Tribal elders but not widely shared until now, of how buffalo first came to the Flathead Indian Reservation. Audiences will learn how the unthinkable came to pass in the nineteenth century as buffalo, slaughtered to the edge of extinction, began to fade from the landscape until a Ql̓ispé (Pend d ’Oreille) man named ʔAtatíc̓eʔ (Falcon Robe) and his son Ɫatatí (Little Falcon Robe) helped the bison survive by bringing buffalo calves over the Continental Divide and starting a herd on the Reservation. In the face of devastation, these men did what they could and made a world of difference for us all. 

The film depicts the Salish, Ql̓ispé and Kootenai peoples’ ongoing struggles, against the backdrop of seismic disruptions to their communities and cultures, to prevail in their efforts to care for the buffalo. Using a cross-section of Tribal members to relate their history, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and filmmaker Daniel Glick produced the film to unveil a narrative that continues to reverberate today.

The film was produced in 2018 and was screened earlier this year at the Flathead Lake International Cinemafest, as well as being an Official Selection for the 2019 International Wildlife Film Festival, and winning the Audience Choice award at the 2019 Bigfork Independent Film Festival. The Tribes also hosted screenings in Pablo, Missoula, Helena, and Washington, D.C.

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