|Alcatraz is Not an Island: Filmmaker Biographies|
The late Millie Ketcheshawno was a long-time Bay Area Indian community advocate. Her personal involvement with the occupation story was instrumental in bringing the occupation experience "behind the scenes" to this production. Until her death in December 2000, Millie was very active in Bay Area Indian affairs and organizations. After completing the U.C. Berkeley Film Program she went on to establish herself as a filmmaker and screenwriter. Along with this production, she worked with Peter Bratt on the feature film Follow Me Home and wrote a screenplay based on her Alcatraz experience.
Jon, Producer and Co-Writer for Alcatraz Is Not an Island is an award-winning filmmaker, multi-media producer, exhibit designer and musician. A Bay Area native, his past work includes managing, designing and producing multi-media exhibits and permanent media displays at the Presidio of San Francisco, Alcatraz Island, and the Marin Headlands, among others. Jon produced and directed We Hold the Rock, the first documentary made about the Indian occupation of Alcatraz in 30 years. This early exhibit and multi-media project has now developed into Alcatraz Is Not an Island. He is also working with the City of Richmond on a documentary about the Richmond, California shipyards during World War II entitled It's Our Fight, Too! and is collaborating with the City of Richmond and the National Park Service to help develop the new "Rosie the Riveter" National Historical Park.
James M. Fortier
Director, Co-Writer, and Director of Photography
James Fortier is an award winning Director and Director of Photography. He is Métis, (pronounced "May-Tee") of Ojibway and French Canadian descent, born in Ontario Canada. He was the director of photography for several Native American and First Nations productions, including the short drama Looks Into the Night, starring Tantoo Cardinal, and the CBC documentary Today Is a Good Day: Remembering Chief Dan George, among others. More recently he was the writer, producer and director of the Minnesota PBS environmental documentary Voices For the Land, and he was the writer and Associate producer for Ojibway PBS documentary series Waasa-Inaabidaa: We Look In All Directions. Jim is developing a new PBS documentary tentatively titled I Is Not For Indian, about how Native histories, cultures, and issues are presented and "taught" in the public schools. Jim is currently the director of photography for the documentary American Lynching: Strange and Bitter Fruit.
Dr. Troy Johnson
Historian and Associate Producer
Dr. Troy Johnson is a professor in the Native American studies department at California State University, Long Beach. He received a Ph.D. in history from U.C.L.A. after completing his thesis on the Indian occupation of Alcatraz Island. His recently published book, The Occupation of Alcatraz Island was based on his research. He has recently completed a revision of the seminal 1960s Native American book, Red Power.
Editor and Co-writer
Mike Yearling is an award-winning creative director, editor and writer living in the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to his documentary work, Mike has worked as a producer, writer and editor for the Discovery Channel show Cyberlife. He also produces films and videos for Fortune 500 clients.