Sisters Rising

Documentary (84 min) | willow o'feral & brad Heck

Sisters Rising is the story of six Native women fighting to heal a society crippled for far too long by violence against Indigenous women in the United States. Dawn was in the Army, now she’s a tribal cop in the midst of the North Dakota oil boom that threatens to pull the last threads of her Native culture apart.

Patty teaches indigenous women’s self-defense workshops. Sarah is an attorney and scholar fighting to overturn restrictions on tribal sovereignty and increase legislative protections for Native women. Loreline and Lisa are grassroots advocates working outside of the system to support survivors of violence and influence legislative change. Chalsey is writing the first anti-sex trafficking code to be introduced to a reservation’s tribal court.

57 minutes

Release: April 20, 2021

Expiration: April 20, 2025

Distributor: America ReFramed

Rights: Unlimited releases over four (4) years beginning 4/20/2021;

SCH/1YR (for K‐12); and non‐commercial cable rights.

Go Behind-the-Scenes

During the Vision Maker’s First Online Indigenous Film Festival, VMM Executive Director Francene Blythe-Lewis met with filmmakers Willow O’Feral, Brad Heck, Tantoo Cardinal, Jaida Grey Eagle and Sergeant Dawn White to discuss the making of Sisters Rising.

Brad Heck

BRAD HECK is a filmmaker, cinematographer, and educator. He previously worked as a cinematographer on independent and commercial projects. "Sisters Rising" is his directorial debut. He recently co-produced Willow O’Feral’s feature documentary "Break the Silence: Reproductive & Sexual Health Stories," and is a co-founder of Haptic Pictures production company.

Willow O'Feral

WILLOW O'FERAL is the award-winning director, producer and cinematographer of two feature documentary films, "Break the Silence: Reproductive & Sexual Health Stories" and "Sisters Rising." "Break the Silence" was awarded the 2018 Choice Champion Award from Planned Parenthood of New England, and the 2019 Best Documentary Feature Award at La Frontera Queer Film Festival.

Tantoo Cardinal (Cree/Metis)

Executive Producer
TANTOO CARDINAL is a Cree/Metis actor, writer, and activist, and arguably the most widely-recognized Indigenous actress of her time. She has broken barriers for Native representation, combining her talent and presence with a fierce commitment to honouring Indigenous people. Her best known roles include: "Falls Around Her," "Legends of the Fall," "Dances With Wolves," "Where The Rivers Flow North," and "Smoke Signals."

Jaida Grey eagle (Oglala lakota)

JAIDA GREY EAGLE is a Oglala Lakota artist, born in Pine Ridge, South Dakota and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She was born into a storytelling family and her work includes photography, film, beading, and writing. She was awarded a Fellowship from the Native American Journalism Association in 2017 and 2019, and recieved the First People’s Fund Artists in Business Fellowship in 2018.

Walt Pourier

Vice Chair

Walt is Oglala Lakota and created the logo for Urban Rez. He is Creative Director, owner of Nakota Designs Advertising Designs and Graphics. Executive Director of the Stronghold Society nonprofit dedicated to instilling hope and supporting youth movements through Live Life Call To Action Campaigns.


Program Coordinator

(Hataža Mani Winga)​

"Cinema Aficionado"

Role: Jordana is excited to engage with different Native/Indigenous communities. Her passion for working with youth will help develop the Native Youth Media Project. She will also assist with the Creative Shorts Fellowship (CSF) to help organize deliverables for filmmakers.