Loren Yellow Bird never imagined he’d be sipping coffee and speaking the Arikara language with Leonardo DiCaprio.
But that’s exactly what the White Shield, ND, native did when he served as technical advisor for the Academy Award-winning film, The Revenant.
The 2015 movie won “Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role,” “Best Achievement in Directing” and “Best Achievement in Cinematography.”
It’s a historical survival action drama inspired by the real-life events of frontiersman Hugh Glass in 1823, in what is now Montana and South Dakota.
Yellow Bird is a member of the Arikara tribe, of which DiCaprio’s character is closely associated. In the film, Hugh Glass is a white man who speaks Arikara and Pawnee, and has a Pawnee son.
With degrees in history and anthropology from North Dakota State University, Yellow Bird is the lead ranger and cultural resource interpreter at Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site in Williston, ND.
When film producers contacted the fort in search of potential re-enactors in July 2014, they connected with Yellow Bird and learned of his unique background and Arikara heritage.
Read the full story in the July/August 2016 issue of Basin Today Magazine: Lower Yellowstone member assisted in making of ‘The Revenant’