Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers

Author: Tina Andersson (CC BY-SA), ndla.no


Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers is both a filmmaker and an actor. She’s half blackfoot and half Sámi, a background that is often reflected in her films.

She began her film career in 2011 with the experimental short film Bloodland. The film was made as a protest against oil companies, who were going to start oil drilling in the blackfoot peoples lands. After this movie, she has made a number of other films in several different genres such as fiction, documentary, mockumentary and music video.

Sami and blackfoot
The father of Tailfeathers is Norwegian Sámi, while the mother is blackfoot from Kainai First Nation. The Kainai tribe is also known as “the Blood Tribe” or “Kainaiwa”. They are part of the Blackfoot Nation which consists of three tribes: Siksikáwa, Kainai og Piegans. The Blackfoot people live in Alberta, Canada, they originally subsisted on buffalo hunting and are known for their ceremonial and sacred sun dance.


Indigenous issues
Tailfeathers’ films are often about societal problems and injustices related to indigenous issues. The films have been screened at festivals in multiple locations around the world, such as the Berlin International Film Festival, Vancouver International Film Festival, imagineNATIVE Film and Media Arts Festival, Seattle International Film Festival, and Tromsø Internasjonale Filmfestival (TIFF).