Holder of the Sky

Film phase:Production


In the creation story of the Oneida tribe of Wisconsin, two twins competed for two very different ways of life. The right-handed twin paved a peaceful path, living in harmony with all living things; the left-handed twin plotted a path of destruction. When goodness prevailed, the right-handed twin earned Oneida’s fabled namesake, Holder of the Sky.

Holder of the Sky follows three Wisconsin tribal members—an Oneida farmer, an Ojibwe spearfisher, and a Menominee logger—whose lives have been shaped by the contemporary manifestation of the left-handed twin. As they compete with land and resource mismanagement, anti-Indian biases, and hate groups, they struggle to honor their traditional lifeways.  Their realities have been shaped by legacies of land loss and broken promises, but their everyday lives are filled with acts of resistance. This film lifts up the voices of people who are a vital part of the American story but are too often grossly overlooked.

Holder of the Sky is a participant of the 2024 (Egg)celerator Lab.



Tsanavi Spoonhunter stands in front of a red background with a smile looking above the camera. She is wearing a black shirt with a matching set of quill earrings and a beaded lanyard. Black and white image.
Credit: Christian Lee Collins

Tsanavi Spoonhunter (she/her) is a Northern Arapaho and Northern Paiute nonfiction film director, producer, and writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She holds a Master of Journalism degree from the University of California, Berkeley, with a documentary film concentration. Tsanavi is a fellow at Firelight Media, Open Society Foundations, and Nia Tero, and was a Woodstock Film Festival resident in 2023.