Daniel Junge, Donna Dewey
Every November for the last eighteen years, Al Redman has unlocked the cage for Wyoming Indian High School's first day of boys' basketball practice. The silver-haired Redman has chalked up an impressive record as head coach of the powerhouse Chiefs, including five state championships and a record 50-game winning streak. But it has been eight years since the Chiefs have won a state title, a long time for a team that is the focal point for the community of Wind River, Wyoming. Challenged by poverty, alcoholism, racism and youth suicide, Wind River Indian Reservation is hardly an environment conducive to success. But despite all of this?or perhaps because of it?basketball is played on the reservation and played very well. It is a truism that the sport tends to thrive in the direst of circumstances. It provides youth with a sense of belonging and camaraderie, and a means of achieving some sort of victory. In this film, we see a group of young men trying to convert the pride and success they experience on the court and move ahead with the rest of their lives. By chronicling the experiences of these young players over the course of two years, CHIEFS shows what it's like to grow up Native American in the 21st century.