Skip to main content
Skip to main menu Skip to spotlight region Skip to secondary region Skip to UGA region Skip to Tertiary region Skip to Quaternary region Skip to unit footer


Searching for Sequoyah documentary distributed nationally by American Public Television to premiere on PBS stations in November, 2021.

Searching for Sequoyah
James M. Fortier, Producer and Filmmaker
Turtle Island Productions
Special Information:
Check your local listings for air times

American Public Television (APT) will distribute the 56-minute documentary film Searching for Sequoyah which will premiere nationally on PBS stations in November, 2021. Searching for Sequoyah was produced by Canadian Ojibway filmmaker James M. Fortier and Choctaw Nation author/filmmaker LeAnne Howe. Howe was also the lead writer with assistance from Fortier and Co-Producer/Host/Narrator, Joshua Nelson (Cherokee Nation). Fortier directed and edited the film. Major funding for the production was provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting through producing partner and presenter Vision Maker Media. The film was also funded with support from the University of Georgia President’s Venture Fund, the Department of English, and the University of Oklahoma’s Department of Film & Media Studies, with additional support and cooperation from the Cherokee Nation Film Office, Tahlequah, OK, the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokees, also in Tahlequah and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in Cherokee, NC.

Searching for Sequoyah chronicles the life and accomplishments of the legendary 19th century Cherokee visionary, Sequoyah (George Guess), through the oral stories of five modern day Sequoyah descendants. While much is known about Sequoyah's Cherokee writing system or syllabary, very little is known about the man himself. How did this illiterate Cherokee invent a writing system that transformed the future of his people? From Tuskegee, Tennessee to Zaragoza, Mexico, the film Searching for Sequoyah takes viewers on a journey retracing Sequoyah’s final quest to reunite his fellow Cherokees in Mexico, the mystery surrounding his death, and the legacy he left behind. Check your local PBS station for listings for dates and times.

Personnel in this Event

Director of INAS, Eidson Distinguished Professor in American Literature

Support us

We appreciate your financial support. Your gift is important to us and helps support critical opportunities for students and faculty alike, including lectures, travel support, and any number of educational events that augment the classroom experience. Click here to learn more about giving.

Every dollar given has a direct impact upon our students and faculty.