My name is Cheyenne Williams and I am a Journalism and Multimedia Studies senior at Fort Lewis College. I wanted to make this film featuring my grandma because I wanted to learn what made her into the person I have always known her to be, and whether or not the way she turned out had to do with the values she was taught in her upbringing.
I love learning about my family and ancestors, but sometimes I worry that I will remember their stories wrong, or that I will forget them completely. This is what inspired me to capture my grandma’s story on film – to keep forever, and to be able to share with my family.
My hope is to share something universal to inspire other Indigenous kids to learn their elders’ stories, to pass those stories on, and to learn from them. I realized how important it is to learn my culture a few years ago when I attended a tribal school, College of the Muscogee Nation, for my associate degree.
The school and faculty encouraged students to learn more about being Muscogee and even had events and opportunities to learn. My dad always encouraged me to learn more about our tribal and family history, but it has really been since attending tribal college that I have taken the endeavor of knowing my history seriously, and have actively pursued it.
I took Native Lens as an opportunity to do just that. I hope to use filmmaking as something to help others realize the importance of learning about your family and culture.