Set in the early 1980s, The Cherokee Word for Water begins in the homes of a small town in rural Oklahoma where many houses lack running water and others are little more than shacks. The movie is told from the perspective of Wilma Mankiller and full-blood Cherokee organizer Charlie Soap who join forces to battle opposition and build a 16-mile waterline system using a community of volunteers. In the process, they inspire the townspeople to trust each other, to trust their way of thinking, and to spark a reawakening of the universal indigenous values of reciprocity and interconnectedness. This project also inspired a self-help movement in Indian Country that continues to this day. The movie is dedicated to Wilma Mankiller's vision, compassion and incredible grace.
Never underestimate the power of a community.
Motion Picture Rating
Rated PG for thematic elements and some language
Did You Know?
The Cherokee Word for Water is one of the first, if not the first, full length feature film production to hire an American Indian casting director to cast both it's American Indian and non-American Indian cast. It was the forethought and obvious thinking of Producer Paul Heller ("Enter the Dragon") who hired American Indian Michelle Shining Elk to cast this film. See more