THE GOOD RELATIVE is the story of Faith Spotted Eagle, internationally renowned elder of the Yankton Sioux Tribe in South Dakota. Longtime defender against the KXL Pipeline, she now confronts the state of South Dakota and major federal agencies to protect their tribal water rights and co-manage the Missouri River.
THE GOOD RELATIVE is set in the Ihanktonwan (Yankton Sioux) territory in South Dakota and told through the eyes of renowned elder, Faith Spotted Eagle. Faith was one of the leaders in the fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) and the successful fight against the extension of the Keystone Pipeline (KXL), which President Biden canceled but is being contested by 24 states.
The Keystone Pipeline has been leaking tar sands oil into the Missouri River, and massive floods, caused partly by the mismanagement of the six dams on the river and by climate change, have flooded tribal houses, roads and bridges and cutting off entire communities.
To confront these threats, Faith has brought together a group of water scientists, toxicologists, data and mapping experts and environmental lawyers. Funded by the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, Faith and her team intend to survey and inventory the Missouri River’s bio region, and assert their claim to co-manage the river. This is a historic and ambitious effort bringing the tribes into direct confrontation with state and U.S. federal agencies. But for the Yankton Sioux, co-management of the river is not only a right, but the key to their very survival.
Director Jen Cohen
Jen (DIRECTOR/PRODUCER) has ten years of production experience working in production management on various television shows for Lifetime, A&E, Food Network, NBC and Amazon as well as independent feature films. This is her directorial debut.
Sarah (CO-DIRECTOR/DP) is a director, producer and director of photography living in Lexington, KY. She is currently a producer at Kentucky Educational Television (PBS Affiliate). Her directorial debut documentary short "Harlan County: Scenes from the Blackjewel Miners’ Blockade" aired on PBS. Sarah was an associate producer on "The Helping Hand" which premiered at Cannes in 2019.
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