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WENATCHEE — A small group of people huddled together in the screening room at the sold out 2019 Community Summit in the Wenatchee Convention Center, oblivious to the thousands walking the corridors just outside, taking part in the three-day affair entitled “Enriching Lives.”

As the screening ended and the credits began to roll, one young man stood and began to clap, encouraging others to do the same, in the end some 20-25 non-Indians gave the 45-minute documentary a standing ovation.

In many ways, that’s all screenwriter/producer and Oglala Lakota Tribal Member Jim Warne can hope for — to change the world one thought, one person at a time. “7th Generation” is about Warne’s efforts to help Tribal Nations find a way to succeed in a contemporary American system, yet remain Indian at heart, director John L. Voth said.

“People know about atrocities in other countries — the Holocaust in Nazi Germany, genocide in Cambodia and Africa. But what they don’t know those same atrocities happened right here in their own country,” said Warne, whose documentary touches on several levels of history and unknown experiences to past generations.

“The first reservations here nothing more than concentration camps. You wouldn’t associate boarding schools with cemeteries (with unknown grave markers) unless you were Indian.”

The stories within “7th Generation” connect the dots between Wounded Knee, Black Elk’s prophecy, boarding schools, American Indian policy and the future for Native American youth. Recent events support the “7th Generation” message.

In 1879, the Carlisle Indian Industrial School was operated by the Department of the Interior until 1918. Children were taken from their families, shipped across the country to Pennsylvania where the school “educated” more than 10,000 Native American children, representing approximately 50 tribes.

On Saturday (June 15), the remains of six of those children who died while attending the Carlisle Indian Industrial School will be disinterred in a project at the Carlisle Barracks as the U.S. Army continues its commitment to reunite Native American families with their loved ones. The six children were buried at the school in the 1880s and 1890s, and are believed to be buried in the Carlisle Barracks Post Cemetery.

“There were hundreds of children buried with ‘unknown’ grave markers that can’t be returned because they don’t know who they are,” said Warne. “We have photographs of shackles they used on the kids while they were there.”

“7th Generation” opened with massive exposure in 2015 at the Heard Museum, Phoenix, Ariz., during Super Bowl XLIX week and has gone onto receive 15 awards, including “Best Documentary Feature” at the Los Angeles Film & Script Festival in Hollywood and and “Best Documentary Feature” at the Hollywood International Moving Pictures Film Festival in Los Angeles.

Warne and his mother Beverly, an Oglala tribal member featured in the film who grew up on Pine Ridge Reservation during a time when nearby Rapid City, S.D., had signs up on storefronts saying, “No Indians Allowed,” recently returned from the European Film Festival tour where WSD Productions/Warrior Society Development LLC’s “7th Generation” received its first international recognition.


British director and producer Michael Lane of Leicester, a member of the technical jury, hailed Warne’s work as the “Best Documentary” at the Carole Film Festival in Italy. The success carried over to the Nice (France) Film Market & Festival where it was also named “Best Documentary,”

“I set out to do the history of our people and to tell them to be proud of who you are,” said Warne, who is a descendant of Wochapi (Stabber), who was one of 17 Oglala members to travel to Washington D.C. with Red Cloud, “as well as educating our non-Indian brothers about the history that’s not in the history books.

“We’ve exceeded all expectations by far. It’s the only Indian film to be accepted and appreciated at all the major film festivals. Most of the awards we’ve received are from non-Indians.”

Warne played on an Rose Bowl-winning the Arizona State University football team with NFL Hall of Famer Randall McDaniel, was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals (1987) and eventually gravitated into an acting career where he worked with Tom Berenger in “The Substitute” (1996) and Fred Dryer in the NBC television series “Hunter” (1984-91). “7th Generation” is his first attempt at screenwriting and producing.

“As an actor and stunt man, I always watched what the producers, directors, sound people were doing, knowing one day I was going to be behind a camera making my film,” said Warne, who received his bachelor’s degree at Arizona State and his masters from San Diego State. “‘7th Generation’ actually came about as a result of my seven-point power presentation. (Director) John Voth came to me and said we need to do something with the information you’re presenting, and that’s how we got together.”

After the Wounded Knee Massacre (Dec. 29, 1890), Lakota medicine man Black Elk had a prophecy. At the core was this statement, “It will take seven generations to heal our sacred hoop.” Modern society is rapidly approaching the seventh generation and Black Elk’s prophecies, both good and bad, continue to become reality.

Warne’s film is designed to help the public understand the hardships felt by Indian Country since those times, what really happened in the boarding school era, the historical trauma that tribal members still deal with today, and the history behind Paha Sapa (the Black Hills), while blazing the path to success in 21st century.

Beverly Warne grew up in an era that said be proud to be an Indian, but be careful who you tell. Her son and others like him say it’s time to stand tall and help carry that First Nation heritage into the the ever-changing future.

{p class=”p1”}DVD’s are available at Amazon. To see the trailer visit

Rodney Harwood: award-winning journalist and columnist. Lover of golf and the written word. I can be reached at


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