Indians and Cowboys

Institute History

  • 1994 Directors Lab


Windy is an assimilated Cherokee woman. She is married to David, a high school baseball coach who thinks he is a cowboy as long as he wears boots and listens to the right radio station. They have a five year old son, Christopher, who has just started school.

Windy, the victim of an illegal adoption, was at birth severed from her people, her culture, and her real family. She was raised and instructed in the Euro-American culture that surrounds her and was instilled with those values. Culturally speaking, Windy is a dead Indian.

David married Windy because she was beautiful and different. His appreciation of her as a Native American does not extend beyond her ethnicity. He loves her for her strength and honesty and because she is the antithesis of his widowed mother, a bigot whose emotional control of David and intense racism toward Windy will become a test of his loyalties, his family and his "cowboy" heart.

Christopher has inherited most of Windy's ethnic features and has begun to experience prejudice and ostracization at school. He is too young to understand why he is being treated differently, but Windy understands all too well. As she watches Christopher experience the same things she has all her life, she is jolted into a more objective perspective on her own life. She begins to question everything she thought was right, everything she thought was natural, all she thought of as herself. Determined not to let Christopher grow up with an identity crisis, she embarks on a journey to find her real parents. On the way, she is introduced to her people, her culture and her Self.

As her spirit grows, David must decide if he wants to be married to a Native American or if he will fight to keep Windy the way he has always known her. What will become of them and what will they teach Christopher? INDIANS AND COWBOYS is an intimate look into the heart of a Texas family, one made up of both "indians" and "cowboys."


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