Searching for Sequoyah

Documentary | James Fortier (Ojibway) & LeAnne Howe (Choctaw)

The first documentary feature to chronicle the legendary accomplishments and mysterious life of the famed Cherokee Renaissance man, Sequoyah. While much is known about Sequoyah and his many accomplishments, we know very little about the man himself. The greatest mystery is not how he created the Cherokee syllabary, but rather the details of his final journey to Mexico and the circumstances of his death.


57 minutes

Release: November 1, 2021

Expiration: October 31, 2024

Distributor: APT

NOLA: SYAH 000 Base Revision 001

James Fortier (Ojibway)

JAMES M. FORTIER is an enrolled member of the Biigtigong Nishnaabeg First Nation (formerly known as Ojibways of the Pic River First Nation), located in Ontario, Canada. Born in Ontario and raised in the Chicago area, James set out for California at the ripe age of 20 to complete film school at San Francisco State University. His first documentary, Alcatraz Is Not An Island screened at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival in 2001 and aired nationally on PBS and APTN in Canada.

LeAnne Howe (CHOCTAW)

LEANNE HOWE is an enrolled Choctaw citizen. She is the on-camera narrator, and writer for the 90-minute PBS film, Indian Country Diaries Spiral of Fire, 2006, set in North Carolina homelands of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Howe is an author and poet, and teaches at the University of Georgia; this is her third film collaboration with Fortier.

Joshua Nelson (Cherokee)

JOSHUA NELSON is President's Associates Presidential Professor at the University of Oklahoma, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and a native Oklahoman. He is Chair of the Film & Media Studies Department, Associate Professor of English, and affiliated faculty with Native American Studies and Women's & Gender Studies, focusing on American Indian literature and film.