Filmmakers interview descendants of Sequoyah

Descendants of Sequoyah gather at the Cherokee Heritage Center in Park Hill, Oklahoma, for a documentary film about the creator of the Cherokee written language and his life. JAMI MURPHY/CHEROKEE PHOENIX

PARK HILL, Okla. -- A group of filmmakers visited the Cherokee Heritage Center in early March to interview descendants, as well as those involved with the Cherokee language program, about Sequoyah, the creator of the Cherokee written language.

Choctaw Nation citizen and filmmaker LeAnne Howe and James Fortier, Pic River Ojibway First Nation citizen and filmmaker, are co-producing the documentary on the life of Sequoyah.

"So we're all Indian working together to make this documentary film," said Howe. "We're all very excited to be here."

The working title for the film is "Searching for Sequoyah." Those involved with the project said that with Sequoyah, there are just so many mysteries and that he is a fascinating subject. The documentary will include "modern-day Sequoyahs" who work daily at preserving and strengthening the Cherokee language.

United Keetoowah Band citizen Sequoyah Guess spoke to the Cherokee Phoenix about the importance of the filmmakers reaching out to decedents.

"It's one of the few times that they have actually come to the families and asked these different questions, you know, about Sequoyah," Guess, a Cherokee and descendent of Sequoyah, said.

For more information regarding the project, email Jace Weaver at jweaver@uga.edu.