We Still Live Here
Directed by Anne Makepeace
Visit the film site for screenings and DVDs: makepeaceproductions.com
Check out the companion site about Native Languages: Our Mother Tongues
‘As Nutayunean’ means “we still live here,” powerful words from a people whom many Americans believed vanished long ago. Their ancestors ensured the survival of the first English vsettlers in America, and lived to regret it. Now they are bringing their language home again.
The story begins in 1994 when a Wampanoag social worker named Jessie Little-Doe began having recurring dreams; familiar looking people from another time speaking to her in a language she couldn’t understand. Later, she realized they were speaking Wampanoag, a language that had not been spoken for more than a century.
These events sent members of the Mashpee and Aquinna Wampanoag communities on an odyssey that would uncover hundreds of documents written in their language and result in something that had never been done before- bringing a language with no Native speakers alive again in a Native American Community.
Anne Makepeace has been a writer, producer, and director of award winning independent films for more than twenty years. She is currently working on a documentary about the return of the Wampanoag language, the first time a language with no native speakers has been revived in an American Indian community. The project was awarded a development grant from the Sundance Documentary Fund late in 2007, and Makepeace recently received both a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Radcliffe Institute Fellowship in support of the project. She is also finishing a documentary about the architect I. M. Pei and his recently completed Suzhou Museum, entitled Building China Modern.