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Vision Maker Media

Osage Murders

Documentary short | Dan Bigbee, Jr. & Lily Shangreaux

Osage Murders tells the story of how the Osage became known as the wealthiest people in the world during an oil boom on their reservation and the practices used to rob them. The boom took place in the first part of the twentieth century, leaving scars still affecting families today. Racist attitudes supported by government policies at all levels made it possible to use any means to separate the Osage from their money. Blind eyes turned away from criminal practices by lawyers, merchants and bankers. Guardians were appointed because of the racist belief that Indians could not be trusted to spend their money wisely. Many of these guardians took advantage of their position. Marrying an Osage with the intent to murder for the inheritance was an all too common practice. Yet, the Osage proudly survive today.

14 minutes

Release: November 16, 2020

Dan Bigbee, Jr.

Director/Producer
DAN BIGBEE is Comanche Indian from Oklahoma. He is Producer, Director, Senior Editor, Videographer, Writer and Engineer for the company. Dan spent four years as a young boy in Ethiopia, where his father taught at the University at Alemaya. Upon returning to the US he finished junior high in Maryland and was accepted at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, NM. Dan went on to received his AA in Fine Arts from Bacone College in Muskogee, Oklahoma. He has additional training from the U. S. Naval School of Photography and has worked for many years in and around various media including: television, radio and video.

Lily Shangreaux

Producer/Screenwriter
LILY SHANGREAUX (Oglala Lakota) was born and raised on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. She was one of the first women admitted as freshmen, in 1970, to Princeton University. Lily graduated with a BA in Psychology.

Dustinn Craig

Videographer
DUSTINN CRAIG (White Mountain Apache/Navajo) grew up in Arizona, living in White River on the Fort Apache Reservation and later in Window Rock on the Navajo Reservation. As a teenager, Craig began making skateboarding videos of himself and his friends. But with fatherhood arriving early, he decided to create "something I hoped my kids would see and watch some day." This led to his short film I Belong to This, a personal documentary in the 2003 PBS documentary series Matters of Race. In 2005 he was awarded the National Video Resources Media Artists Fellowship for a documentary on skateboarding at Fort Apache, Ride through Genocide