WSCC Humankind Series to discuss tribal buffalo restoration

October 16, 2023

Julianna Brannum

WSCC Humankind Series to discuss tribal buffalo restoration

WSCC News is a presented by West Shore Community College in partnership with Mason County Press. 

LUDINGTON — West Shore Community College’s Humankind Series, in partnership with the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians and the Ludington Area Center for the Arts (LACA), will present “Homecoming: Tribal Buffalo Restoration and Its Impacts” on Thursday, Nov. 2 at 7 p.m. at the arts center. The event is free and open to everyone and will include indigenous food offerings.

The event is part of the seventh annual Humankind Series focused on the theme, “Inclusion: Conversations Around a Crowded Table.” This theme explores ways to celebrate diversity, build community, and develop a sense of belonging so that everyone feels like they have a seat at the table.

During the event, Comanche documentary filmmaker Julianna Brannum will screen and discuss her latest short film, “Homecoming.” The film follows the work of Eastern Shoshone tribal citizen Jason Blades and the InterTribal Buffalo Council as they seek to restore the iconic buffalo to tribal nations throughout the United States.

The film seeks to spark conversation around contemporary restoration efforts and their impacts on cultural, spiritual, environmental, and nutritional restoration. “Homecoming” is a companion film to Ken Burns’ latest series airing on PBS, “The American Buffalo.”

Brannum is a citizen of the Comanche Nation and an award-winning documentary filmmaker based in Oklahoma. She is a graduate of The University of Oklahoma which awarded her the 2008 Distinguished Alumni Award for the College of Arts and Sciences. She has produced programs for PBS Food, Fox, ESPN, Travel Channel, Discovery Channel, HGTV, and Bravo. Her co-produced feature documentary, “Wounded Knee,” premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.

Brannum most recently served as consulting producer for Ken Burn’s aforementioned documentary. In 2019, she was producer of the documentary, “Conscience Point,” airing nationally on PBS, and she served as series producer on the 2018 Emmy-nominated PBS series, “Native America.” In 2017, she directed and produced the public television documentary, “LaDonna Harris: Indian 101,” for which she won fellowships from the Sundance Institute/Ford Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation/Tribeca Film Institute.

“We are thrilled to bring Brannum to our region to experience this powerful film and continue conversation on contemporary tribal nations’ achievements,” said Darby Johnsen, dean of arts and sciences at West Shore.

“LACA is very excited to be a host site for WSCC’s Humankind Series,” LACA Executive Director Andrew Skinner said. “The Humankind lecture series is a great asset to our community and gives those who call Mason County and the surrounding area home a chance to experience and understand cultures from around the world.”

Humankind is WSCC’s arts and culture lecture series which features films, presentations, performing arts events, art exhibitions, and much more. For additional information about Humankind, visit or email

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