Badger Creek is a half-hour documentary portrait of a Blackfeet (Pikuni) family, the Mombergs, who live on the lower Blackfeet Reservation in Montana near the banks of Badger Creek. In addition to running a prosperous ranching business, they practice a traditional Blackfeet cultural lifestyle that sustains and nourishes them, including sending their children to a Blackfeet language immersion school, participating in Blackfeet spiritual ceremonies and maintaining a Blackfeet worldview. The film takes us through a year in the life of the family, and through four seasons of the magnificent and traditional territory of the Pikuni Nation.
Our intention in making this film is to share a positive portrayal of reservation Native Americans with the PBS audience. Many documentaries about reservation life portray poverty, violence and other hardships and depict protagonists fighting to survive in this context. While these are important stories, our film takes an alternative approach of portraying a family that is thriving. The film focuses on key family members and typical life events so that audiences can identify with their way of life and understand why they are successful. While the film touches on some of the challenges of life on the reservation, such as drugs and poverty, the Mombergs’ success is not portrayed in opposition to a dysfunctional reservation environment, but rather as a result of the ongoing choices they have made to stay healthy and to adhere to traditional Blackfeet values.
Purchase the film on DVD or streaming from New Day Films.
The film is also available on Kanopy.
Badger Creek was co-produced by VisionMaker Media and broadcast on PBS throughout 2017.