Ochagach: The Making of a Movie 

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The Hub

THUNDER BAY – On June 17, 2019 the co-authors of the Ochagach Project, Rodney S. McLeod of Frog Lake First Nation and scholar Louis Buff Parry of Edmonton, Alberta, will begin a fact-finding and scene identifying journey to Thunder Bay and the Anishinaabe Territory of the Robinson Superior Treaty region, to finalize the outline for a film about the Cree cartographer and trailblazer “Ochagach”, and the commissioned explorer Pierre Gaultier de Varenne et sieur de La Vérendrye.

Making a movieMaking this trip a reality is due in large part to our generous sponsors the Thunder Bay CEDC, the Fort William BIA, Holistic Adventures, The Hub Bazaar, ShebaFilms, Nor’Wester Hotel and Conference Centre and Wild Thyme Catering.

This film will feature some of the highlights in the life of the legendary and very real 18th-century Cree cartographer, trailblazer, and all around Renaissance Man, whose name is variously spelled Auchagah, Ochagach, and other similarly spelled monikers. These monikers all mean two things in the Indigenous Algonquian Cree language:

1. Star (ochakos); and 2. Little Spirit or Little Soul (achahk, achahkos).

The reason he was so named will be explored in their film along with showcasing the lives and skills of Indigenous peoples in Canadian history.

making a movieThe film project will include the ecstatic and the tragic. The tragic will touch on the related murders of one of La Verendrye’s sons and the Indigenous prophecies and predictions of  White Buffalo Calf Woman, a holy woman of the Sioux and the Cree Nations of North America among other historical facts that have been downplayed in mainstream history.  McLeod and Parry have also discovered information relevant to the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women tragedy in North America.

The journey to Thunder Bay and Anishinaabe Territory of the Robinson –Superior Treaty region will also explore the relationship that this historic region has to an enigmatic stone tablet that La Verendrye, under the direction of Ochagach, “discovered” somewhere between the west of the Mandan territory of North Dakota, the Badlands, and the Milk River sandstone hoodoo country in southern Alberta. The city of Winnipeg, Manitoba also plays a very important role in relaying this historic chapter.

The writing on this stone tablet was examined by Jesuit scholars in the 1740s and they determined this script to be “Tatar”. If it is Tatar, this would change history in a  significant manner. The Cree Elders, at the 2003 and 2004 Cree Nation Gatherings, held in Saskatchewan and Manitoba respectively, declared this enigmatic stone tablet to be their missing Cree Prophecy Stone.

There is already an award-winning documentary titled Lapis Exillis that details the nature and location of this pillar. The Ochagach Project will serve as a complimentary film with Thunder Bay and Anishinaabe Territory of the Robinson-Superior Treaty region taking centre stage. This film will be named in honour of Ochagach, a Thunder Bay and Anishinaabe Territory understated hero and Cree genius that will raise the stature he has earned and deserves.

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