Pronunciation and Style Guide
The title ᎤᏕᏲᏅ (pronounced oo-day-yoh-nuh) is Cherokee.

When writing or speaking the title, please always use both the Cherokee and English: ᎤᏕᏲᏅ (What They’ve Been Taught)

In Adobe products, Phoreus Cherokee font is preferred and in Word, Plantagenet Cherokee. If a system is unable to display ᎤᏕᏲᏅ, the transliteration Udeyonv may be used. Example: Udeyonv (What They’ve Been Taught).

Guide on accessing the Cherokee syllabary keyboards for all Apple and Google products.

A film by | Brit Hensel with Keli Gonzales (Cherokee Nation)

Producers | Taylor Hensel, Adam Mazo, Kavita Pillay, and Tracy Rector.

Filmed on the Qualla Boundary and Cherokee Nation, ᎤᏕᏲᏅ (What They’ve Been Taught) explores expressions of reciprocity within Cherokee communities, brought to life through a story told by an elder and first language speaker. ᎤᏕᏲᏅ is a reflection on tradition, language, land, and a commitment to maintaining balance. This film was created in collaboration with independent artists from both Cherokee Nation and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

Expressions of reciprocity in the Cherokee world as conveyed in a story told by an elder and first language speaker.

About Reciprocity Project
In Season One of this multimedia project, storytellers and community partners created films in response to a question: What does ‘reciprocity’ mean to you and your community? Facing a climate crisis, the Reciprocity Project embraces Indigenous value systems that have bolstered communities since the beginning of time. To heal, we must recognize that we are in relationship with Earth, a place that was in balance since time immemorial. This short film series and multimedia platform invites learning from time-honored and current Indigenous ways of being. Reciprocity Project is a co-production of Nia Tero and Upstander Project, in association with REI Co-op Studios.

Technical Specifications
TRT | 9 minutes
Aspect Ratio | 16:9
Format | Digital
Audio | Stereo
Language | English & Tsalagi Gawonihisdi
Location | Filmed on Filmed on the Qualla Boundary, North Carolina and in Cherokee Nation, Oklahoma


Brit Hensel is an Oklahoma based writer and award-winning filmmaker. A citizen of Cherokee Nation, her work largely explores traditional Cherokee values, language, and her peoples’ connection to land in Oklahoma (former Indian Territory) and in her ancestral homelands of North Carolina (Qualla Boundary). Previously, Brit directed the documentary films, Zibi Yajdan (2019) and Native and American (2017). She was a producer for Osiyo, Voices of the Cherokee People. Brit recently worked on the first and second seasons of the FX series Reservation Dogs and was awarded the 2022 Tulsa Artist Fellowship and 4th World Indigenous Fellowship. Brit continues to use her love for storytelling to help amplify the voices and values of her community. Most importantly, she hopes her work honors and makes Cherokee people proud.

Community Partner / Associate Producer
Keli ᎨᎳᏗ Gonzales is a Cherokee artist from Welling, OK. She merges pop culture and traditional Cherokee cultural images to make personal statements. Women are central figures in her work. She also incorporates the Cherokee syllabary into her work with the hope that it will inspire people to learn to read syllabary and possibly learn the Cherokee language.

Artist statement
“It is important to us that this film included the perspectives of western and eastern Giduwa (Cherokee) people. Although our communities are separated by distance, our collaboration on this film offers a balanced perspective of what reciprocity means to our people and how it’s actualized in our lives. This film was brought to life by a team of all Giduwa people, in front of and behind the camera, and was shot on lands that have shaped us.”


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

“Brit’s film is a beautiful meditation of sound and space, expressing her people’s reciprocal relationship to the natural worlds that they exist in.”
- Sterlin Harjo”

ᎤᏕᏲᏅ (What They’ve Been Taught) was selected for Sundance Film Festival 2022, making Brit Hensel the first woman citizen of the Cherokee Nation to direct a film at the festival.

Podcast Episodes about the film




A film by Brit Hensel
Told by Thomas Belt
Filmed on the Qualla Boundary, North Carolina and in Cherokee Nation, Oklahoma A Nia Tero and Upstander Project Production
In association with REI Co-op Studios

Thomas Belt
John Henry Gloyne
Ernie Tiger
Elwood Gloyne
Waloshi Gloyne
Booger Gloyne
Beau Carroll
Johi Griffin
Bear Allison
Keli Gonzales
Tsinas Johnson
Sanoyi Johnson
Walel Johnson
JP Johnson

Nick Buttram Brit Hensel Blake Brown

David Crawler Garfield Long Bo Lossiah

Keli Gonzales
John Henry Gloyne

Loren Waters JP Johnson Beau Carroll

Sauli Pillay

Eleni Ledesma

Loren Waters

Daniel Bachman

Blues in the Anthropocene Farnham
Green Alum Springs

John Henry Gloyne

Bear Allison Taylor Hensel Loren Waters

Thomas Belt Johi Griffin Beau Carroll

Tonya Carroll
Catcuce Tiger
Henryetta & John Gloyne Jonah Bird
Nathan Messer
Taylor Hensel
Gabriel Krengel
Mark Taylor

For Series Credits please see the Season One Press Kit

Download the full press kit and trailer.

IMAGES & Poster

Director Brit Hensel credit Taylor Hensel

Associate Producer Keli Gonzales credit Loren Waters

ᎤᏕᏲᏅ What They've Been Taught Key Image

John Henry Gloyne and Elwood Gloyne

ᎤᏕᏲᏅ What They've Been Taught POSTER

Press Kit PDF, Learning Materials, Transcript


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Updated | 5/14/24