Rebirth of the Range

Two people interact with buffalo


“Rebirth of the Range” tells the first-person/non-narrated story of the return of the formerly NATIONAL Bison Range Park in Montana to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribe — on whose stolen land the park had originally been created under President Roosevelt. An inspirational and visually stunning social justice story, this 45-minute documentary, told in 6 acts, also holds important lessons for both indigenous and non-indigenous viewers — including on the taking of land even in the name of our public national parks. This rare federal land return to tribal jurisdiction was more than a century in the asking, and only persistent and savvy negotiating by the tribe finally succeeded in getting the land back, in late 2020 — a strategy that indigenous experts believe can be a successful model for other tribes. And the film helps break the stereotypes that the tribal scientists reveal remain a constant struggle for them. Independent filmmakers Kira Kay and Jason Maloney spent a year obtaining careful access and then filming alongside the tribe as it took over management of the Park’s pristine 19,000 acres, the sacred bison herd on it and the visitor’s center exhibit (correcting its false version of history in the process). The filmmakers also expanded their reporting to include an in-depth look at the progressive environmental conservation and climate mitigation work the tribe is undertaking throughout its entire Flathead Reservation, blending “traditional ecological knowledge” with “Western science” practices. And they were welcomed into community events including the annual Arlee pow wow celebration, itself a symbol of historical repression and now an expression of survival of the tribe and its culture. The film culminates in an exclusive view of the first bison “round up” on the Range to be undertaken fully under tribal jurisdiction — an uplifting culmination of multi-generational advocacy and cementing of tribal knowledge for now and the future. The film was released on November 17th as licensed to ABC OTV for initial streaming; but the filmmakers retain rights to the content for further markets, which they are now actively seeking, and to screen for public audiences through festivals. The film was supported by grants from the National Press Foundation (the Kozik Environmental Justice Reporting award) and the Henry Luce Foundation’s program on Indigenous Knowledge.


Tuesday Q&A with Peter Bugoni, Whisper Camel Means, Clarena Brockie, and Stephanie Gillin

Wednesday Q&A with Roshan Patel, Kira Kay and Jason Maloney.

Tuesday 4/23 at 7:00pm (The UC Theater)

Wednesday 4/24 at 5:00pm

Buy Tickets


45 minutes

Directors: Kira Kay, Jason Maloney

Producers: Kira Kay, Jason Maloney,

Consulting Producer: Tracy Wholf

Executive Producer: Justin Allen

Additional Editor: Michael Janowski

Language: English

Country of Origin: USA



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