Native American Productions


Turtle Island Productions has been focusing on issues and stories from American Indian and Canadian First Nation and Métis communities for approximately 20 years. As an enrolled member of the Ojibways of Pic River First Nation (Ontario) person of French Canadian and Ojibway (Anishinabe), TIP owner/filmmaker James M. Fortier maintains strong ties with his Ojibway family in Ontario, Canada and on the Pic River Ojibway First Nation Reserve. Since 1995 James has provided his production talents and experience on numerous dramatic and documentary productions exploring the cultures and issues of "Indian Country." Whether collaborating with other Native/Métis filmmakers as Director of Photography and editor; or writing/producing/directing his own productions, James brings 20 years of award-winning experience and professionalism to every project.
Since Jame's first Native American production as the DP for the award winning short drama "Looks Into the Night" starring Tantoo Cardinal in 1995, he has worked with a whose who of national Native American figures such as John Trudell, Wilma Mankiller, Dennis Banks, and the late Floyd Redcrow Westerman and Vine Deloria, Jr., as well as Native/Métis  filmmakers such as Loretta Todd (Cree-Métis) and others. James also believes strongly that Native Americans have the right to tell their own stories. "For every Native production I am involved with I insist on active, substantive, Native input from the writing to the crewing, to the scoring whenever possible. If I can't find a Native or Métis with the experieince to fill a particular role, then I try to get young, emerging Native filmmakers on board as interns or production assitants whenever the budget allows for it."

Although not raised in a reservation community, James has worked with Indian communities across the US and in Canada, including the Eastern Band of Cherokee of North Carolina, the Tohono O'odham Nation and  Gila River Pima-Maricopa communities in Arizona, several northern Cree bands in Manitoba, the Chickasaw and and Choctaw Nations of Oklahoma, the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe of Washington, and several Ojibwe bands in Minnesota and Wisconsin among others.

James brings experience, integrity and respect to every Native production, and insists on following the culturally appropriate protocols of the Native communities he works with. In the film and video production world this is not always an easy task. However, we are more than just a production company. As a Native owned and operated business we are accountable to the larger Native community of which we are a part of and with whom we have established relationships with. These relationships, past present and future,  guide the vision and operations of Turtle Island Productions to "do things in a good way," and to honor those we work with and whose stories, traditions, and experiences we bring to the screen.