Perma Red is building an infrastructure to promote Native Storytelling for years to come. With issues like Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and suicide reaching epidemic proportions in Indian Country, Natives across the United States need to come together to find solutions.
Perma Red as a limited television series will be more than entertainment, it will be a viable job resource for the Mission Valley and Flathead Indian Reservation and will have ⅔ crew ratio of Native to White to honor Indigenous filmmaking. The script will include Salish dialogue, and there’s a need for crew, dancers, singers, cast, and consultants to ensure cultural sensitivity and accuracy. With the success of the series, more film projects would create financially viable jobs on and off the reservations honoring and encouraging the voice of culture through storytelling.
In an area wrought with high suicide rates, seeing an entire community unite behind the series will instill a sense of local and tribal pride and hope that cannot be understated. Their humanity, their struggles, and their hardships finally matter to a seemingly indifferent world. Elders and little kids alike proud they are part of a movie about where they live who they are, because through art, through literature, through film, they mattered.
We are also working with Salish Kootenai College to incorporate mentor programs for Native American youth to learn about working on a set as a director, producer, writer and personal assistant. In that, Perma Red is comprised of a crew of a highly accomplished women and men of their respective fields encompassing above-the-line roles from directing to producing—50% of whom are Native women. These statistics—unheard of on a production set—create an environment of passionate, collaborative, and progressive filmmaking.
Finally, by addressing the serious and relevant issue of missing and murdered indigenous women through the true story it’s based upon, we will give national platform to the #MMIW movement. We are working closely with Debra Magpie Earling and an elder cultural counsel to tell this story with integrity and respect. We intend to bring awareness by honoring Séliš, Ql̓ispé people while giving a voice to missing and murdered Native women whose voices we must always listen to and never forget.
We believe this series will further heal relationships internationally through the arts via the transcendent and universal language of literature and film, and will do so from the beautiful canvas called Western Montana, ntxʷetkʷ.
“The story of Perma Red is one of resilience and drive, and one of a young woman using her uniquely feminine and indigenous traits to survive. Tenderness, empathy, and compassion are all too often deemed as undesirable. The indigenous way of life is treated much the same, with our ceremonies, spirituality, and connection to nature and ancestral lands often being disregarded or belittled. I want to explore, learn, and take the time to develop Perma Red and the story of Louise White Elk to decolonize filmmaking and reclaim the narrative of Native Americans from the Hollywood machine. I want to celebrate what it means to be Native, and to be a Native woman.”
Maya Rose Dittloff