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Black Antelope’s new series gives secret history of Wild West

julian black antelope
Fort Macleod’s Julian Black Antelope is creator, host and director of the new TV series ‘Secret History: The Wild West.’

Fort Macleod’s Julian Black Antelope portrays the history of the Wild West from an Indigenous perspective in the new television series.

Black Antelope is the creator, host, producer and director of the 13-part series Secret History: The Wild West.

“This series challenges the often skewed and one-sided historical perspectives of Indigenous Peoples,” Black Antelope said in a news release.

“The series’ intention is to educate the historical and contemporary contributions of our Peoples: not to throw a proverbial brick through history’s window, but instead open the door to let some fresh air in.”

Secret History: The Wild West premieres Feb. 11  in Blackfoot and Feb. 13 in English on Canada’s national Indigenous network APTN.

Black Antelope’s acting credits include Hell On Wheels, Blackstone, Penny Dreadful, Dominion Creek, Arctic Air, Tribal and Into the West.

Black Antelope stars as the show’s host, Trickster and introduces the audience to Indigenous historical figures such as Jerry Potts, Calf Shirt, Red Crow, Poundmaker and Louis Riel.

“I grew up hearing about some of these people and their stories but wondered why there was very little information taught about them in school, so my goal with this project was to fill in the gaps and bring a seldom seen point of view through an Indigenous lens,” Black Antelope said

Secret History: The Wild West is a production of Herd of 1 Media, a Calgary-based independent film and TV company dedicated to development and production of high concept content.

The company’s primary focus is in developing stories with an Indigenous approach and to foster new creative partnerships world-wide.

Secret History: The Wild West utilizes a strategic bland of cinematic live action re-enactments, testimony from direct descendants, spiritual leaders and tribal elders of  Blackfoot and Cree confederacies, animation and archival photos.

Secret History: The Wild West showcases a talented cast of Indigenous guest stars in each 30-minute episode.

Filming locations for the series include Bow River Ranch in Calgary and Fort Whoop-Up in Lethbridge.

“The Secret History series also has a Blackfoot language version, which like the show itself, is something long overdue,” Black Antelope said. “I believe language and cultural preservation are absolutely vital, especially in this day and age, so for myself it’s an especially rewarding experience to see all the time it’s taken, hard work and research come to fruition.”

Secret History: The Wild West is produced in association with APTN, in participation with the Canada Media Fund, and with assistance from the government of Alberta’s Screen-Based Production Grant and the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit.

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