Stories I Didn't Know


No Longer Available

Ticket Prices
General Public:$10.00
Film Info
Program:MSPIFF Encore
Virtual Cinema
Tags:Minnesota Made
Women Directors
Indigenous Peoples
Native American
Social Justice
Culture & Society
Release Year:2020
Runtime:74 min
Print Source:Frozen Feet Films
Director:Rita Davern
Melody Gilbert
Producer:Rita Davern
Melody Gilbert
Cinematographer:Melody Gilbert
Miles Painter
Screenwriter:Melody Gilbert
Editor:Miles Painter
Composer:Charlie McCarron


MSPIFF39 Redefined Best of Fest

Reserve your ticket by clicking the button: BUY TICKETS. Starting Thursday, June 25, return to this page and click the button: CLICK TO STREAM to watch the movie. You will have 24 hours to finish watching the movie once you start viewing. You must start watching the film by Sunday, June 28 at 11:59pm in order to finish before the end of the screening engagement.

About the Film

As a child from St. Paul, MN, Rita Davern was always told, with pride, how her family once owned Pike Island at the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers. While researching her ancestors’ immigration from Ireland, she begins to explore the complicated legacy of settling on Dakota land, and her quest for reconciliation begins in this eye-opening documentary.

Part of the family lore was that these same great-grandparents were driven from the Burren region in County Clare, Ireland, forced out by poverty, hunger, and land theft. And so they came West, to America, and to Minnesota, where they themselves forced the Dakota off the land. Davern’s examination into this family secret takes her on a journey to understand what happened and why, and leads her to Ramona Kitto Stately, a Dakota educator and activist. With her help, Davern is able to see the whole story, which she is eager to share and do something about.

Find out more about the film here:

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Director Biography

Rita Davern

Rita Davern was born in 1949 in Minnesota, and has worked as a communication and leadership consultant for over two decades. She created Parenting-by-Connection, which helps parents build relationships with children through play and, with Jane Powers, was awarded a Forecast Public Art research and development grant in 2009 to work with Indigenous artists to “map the history of Dakota people" onto present day Twin Cities.

Melody Gilbert

Born in Washington, D.C. Melody Gilbert is no stranger to MSPIFF, where many of her films have screened or debuted. She has directed a number of feature-length independent documentaries for 15 years, which include A Life Without Pain (2005), Urban Explorers: Into the Darkness (2007), The Starfish Throwers (2014), and Silicone Soul (2018).