Ohiyesa: The Soul of an Indian

Broadcast Documentary
57 Minutes – 2018

Ohiyesa: The Soul of an Indian is a deeply personal family film that follows Kate Beane, an urban, Dakota scholar, and her family as they trace the remarkable life of their celebrated relative, Ohiyesa (Charles Eastman), an important author, activist, lecturer and one of the first Native American doctors. Along the way, Beane uncovers uncanny parallels between their lives, though they were born more than 100 years apart.

For the first time, Beane and other relatives reunite to share Ohiyesa’s story from an indigenous perspective, considering questions their grandfather posed more than a century ago, such as how can indigenous people retain their cultural traditions and worldviews, while also working within institutions and a society that was created to oppress them?

Beane and her family search for the legacy of Ohiyesa while trying to determine what their own legacy will be.

The film is the creation of filmmaker Syd Beane, Kate’s father, who spent years with his family, producers, and technicians gathering footage and material to form the building blocks of the narrative. Syd brought the film to the media group at the Minnesota Historical Society to guide it through the post-production process.

Ohiyesa: The Soul of an Indian has been broadcast on PBS stations nationwide and is available on Amazon streaming. It has screened at the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival, American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco, and the Maoriland Film Festival in New Zealand.

Co-Director, Co-Producer. Led staff through the post-production process to mold and supplement footage, guide writing, editing, music, sound design, and color grading to form a compelling one-hour story.
(On staff with the Minnesota Historical Society)