FILM

Pronunciation and Style Guide
Tentsítewahkwe, [phonetic: dun-JEE-de-wok-gwe]

Director
Katsitsionni Fox [phonetic: Gah-JEET-juniee]

Community Partner / Associate Producer
Xochitl Fox [phonetic: so-chee]

Synopsis
As a young girl, Jessica Shenandoah (Wolf Clan from the Akwesasne Mohawk Nation) learned about harvesting medicine and food plants alongside her mother and grandmother. Contemporary Native People are often separated many generations from their traditional knowledge due to the effects of colonial realities such as boarding school, forced religion, and land theft.

In the latest Native women-centered film by Mohawk filmmaker Katsitsionni Fox (Ohero:kon - Under the Husk, Without a Whisper - Konnon:kwe), Shenandoah goes on a journey across four seasons and multiple Native territories to connect with other knowledge keepers reviving the land-based knowledge of their ancestral grandmothers in order to return to time-honored practices of pottery making, mat weaving, hide tanning, medicine making, food gathering, and more. Jessica embodies the Mohawk concept of Tentsítewahkwe as she picks up knowledge of the old ways, these slow methods of creating and connecting in reciprocity with the Earth.

This film is at once a thank you to the Native women who imbued their descendents with blood memory of these practices and a promise to future generations of Native people that these practices will stay alive for generations to come.

Logline
Embodying the Mohawk value of Tentsítewahkwe, Jessica Shenandoah goes on a knowledge-gathering journey across all four seasons to reinvigorate the healing, land-based practices of her ancestral grandmothers, knowledge that boarding schools, forced religion, and land theft may have suppressed but could not destroy.

About Reciprocity Project
Reciprocity Project is a global storytelling movement supporting Indigenous creatives telling stories of hope, made within their communities, via film, photography, and podcasts.

Technical Specifications
TRT | 17 minutes
Aspect Ratio | 16:9
Color
Format | Digital
Audio | 5.1
Languages | English, Kanienkéha (Mohawk)
Location | Tentsítewahkwe was filmed in Akwesasne Mohawk Nation Territory.

FILMMAKERS

Director Biography
Katsitsionnni Fox is a Mohawk filmmaker sharing empowering stories of resilient Indigenous women. Her debut film was the award winning Ohero:kon - Under the Husk a 26-min documentary following the journey of two Mohawk girls as they take part in their traditional passage rites to becoming Mohawk Women. Katsitsionni received the Jane Glassco Award for Emerging Filmmaker at the imagineNATIVE Film Festival in 2016 as well as the Achievement in Documentary Filmmaking Award at LA Skins Fest in 2016. Her most recent film, Without a Whisper - Konnon:kwe is the untold story of how Indigenous women influenced the early suffragists in their fight for freedom and equality. Without a Whisper received an audience award at Woods Hole Film Festival, Best Short Film Winner at Female Voices Rock Film Festival and Best Documentary Short at Red Nations Film. Katsitsionni was selected as a 2021 Nia Tero Storytelling Fellow, focused on amplifying Indigenous creatives working on innovative projects rooted in culture, environment and story. She is a 2023 PBS Ignite Fellow. She is currently in production for Kanenon:we - Original Seeds a documentary featuring Indigenous women seed keepers protecting and rematriating our seed relatives for future generations.

About Reciprocity Project
In Season Two of this multimedia project, storytellers and community partners created films in response to a question: What does a 'return' to land, language, and reciprocal relationships mean to you and your community? Facing a climate crisis, the Reciprocity Project embraces Indigenous value systems that have bolstered communities since time immemorial. Reciprocity Project invites global Indigenous filmmakers to center Indigenous perspectives about the reciprocal relationship between all beings — seen and unseen — and the lands we inhabit.

COLLABORATORS

Nia Tero is a US-based non-profit working in solidarity with Indigenous peoples and movements worldwide with a mission of securing Indigenous guardianship of vital ecosystems. Nia Tero is committed to an antiracist and inclusive culture centering Indigenous rights, wisdom, practices, worldviews, and protocols.

Upstander Project is a Boston-based non-profit that uses storytelling to amplify silenced narratives, develop upstander skills to challenge systemic injustice, and nurture compassionate, courageous relationships that honor the interconnection of all beings and the Earth. Upstander Project envisions a world rooted in responsibility and respect for all where upstanders confront injustice and repair harm to ensure all beings thrive together.

REI Co-op Studios develops and produces stories that entertain, enrich and explore the power of time spent outside, while complementing the co-op’s broader climate and racial equity, diversity, and inclusion commitments.

PRESS & ACCLAIM

News

CREDITS

Coming Soon

For Series Credits please see the Season Two Press Kit

Zipped downloadable full press kit with photos will be available soon.

CONNECT

Website | Reciprocity.org

Social Media | @reciprocityproj | Instagram | Facebook

Podcast | Seedcast

Press Contact | press@reciprocity.org

Updated | February 13, 2024