Deep West Video

The mission of Deep West Video and our earlier Ranch Communications program is to tell first-hand stories from the rural West that are rooted in the values of life on the land. Since 2000, the Western Folklife Center has been working with people from throughout the rural West to produce short videos about their lives on the land.

Using the tools of digital communication, these home-made productions are simple yet elegant; they are not glossy and commercial, but from the heart. Each year, from six to eleven videos are created, a few of which are featured here.

Beginning in 2015, a special focus has been working with the students and teachers at the Owyhee Combined School on the Duck Valley Indian Reservation in northern Elko County. We are immensely proud of the students and their work: several filmmakers received recognition for their in research, producing, directing, writing, and filming of videos in 2015: "Owyhee Veterans," "Life Styles in Duck Valley,""Braves Pride," "Running Owyhee,"and "Me, Horse, and a Frozen River" have won a Bronze Remi award for excellence in film production for Middle School & Below (14 & Younger), from the Houston Worldfest International Film & Video Film Festival!

Owyhee Stories

Students and teachers from the Owyhee Combined School on the Duck Valley Indian Reservation have created award-winning short films since 2015. We are pleased to also work with them in a tribal translation project to help preserve the Shoshone language. Premiering at the 2016 National Cowboy Poetry Gathering:

Desmond Hanchor profiles the fire crew on the Duck Valley Indian Reservation. Desmond is a 7th grader at the Owyhee Combined School.

Basketball is immensely popular in Native American communities, including on the Duck Valley Indian Reservation. Destiny Max is a high school freshman at the Owyhee Combined School, and this film chronicles her decision to play basketball for the girls' team.

Lance Owyhee tells the story of the Owyhee Combined School on the Duck Valley Indian Reservation, where he is a student in the 8th grade. This is Lance's first Deep West Video,

Terry Howard explains his passion for powwow dancingand for keeping alive the traditions of his tribe. Terry is a high school freshman at the Owyhee Combined School.

Talliah Hanchoor profiles Native American artist James Shoshone, whose work is inspired by scenes of cowboy life on his reservation. Talliah is an 8th grader at the Owyhee Combined School on the Duck Valley Indian Reservation.

Gage Johnson wasn't born into the cowboy life, but he's learning to become one as a teenager. His step father is a rancher, and he's teaching Gage to ride horses and herd cattle. This is Gage's second Deep West Video.

Dilan Bill explains his passion for flying drones over the Duck Valley Indian Reservation, and shooting video of his community. Dilan is an 8th grader at the Owyhee Combined School.

More Stories from the Rural West

Rural westerners produce short videos about their lives on the land. This selection premiered at the 2016 National Cowboy Poetry Gathering.

Amir Beardley talks about the challenges of rejoining the rodeo circuit after suffering a serious accident in the ring this past summer. This is Amir's fourth Deep West Video.

Linda and Carolyn Dufurrena offer this appreciation of the Paiute-Shoshone elders of Fort McDermitt, Nevada. Linda and Carolyn have participated in the Deep West Video program since its inception as Ranch Communications more than a dozen years ago.

"V" ~ The Gypsy Cowbelle relives the stagecoach days by joining a modern-day wagon train that retraces pioneer routes from the 1800's. "V" has worked as a ranch hand and performer since 1995, and now hosts children's workshops and historical presentations.

Kier Atherton profiles a cowboy and private investigator from Missoula, MT. Jeff Patterson says his horses have helped him solve at least one case, and they also help victims of crime heal from their emotional wounds.

Special thanks to:

Banner image by Jessica Brandi Lifland.