Arts & Entertainment | Federal Recognition

Writers based 'Red Road' on Ramapough Lunaape Nation






Jason Momoa stars in The Red Road on the Sundance Channel.

The Ramapough Lunaape Nation of New Jersey will once again see its people depicted by Hollywood, this time on The Red Road on the Sundance channel.

The show stars Jason Momoa, who has Native Hawaiian ancestry, as a Ramapough man who develops an alliance with the local sheriff. In real life, the tribe has had an uneasy relationship with law enforcement -- in April 2006, a state park police officer fatally shot a tribal member.

"It's an interesting world people haven't seen before," show creator Aaron Guzikowski said at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour, according to The Hollywood Reporter. "This particular Indian tribe lives close to New York City, close to the modern world, and yet is still living off the land. It's a small tribe that doesn't have federal recognition. There are a lot of things that make them unique. That was a hugely attractive place to set this story."

Guzikowski and executive producer Bridget Carpenter said they met with tribal members to discuss the show. They also hired a consultant to ensure the script was "authentic," The Wrap reported.

The consultant was not named by the Reporter or the Wrap. No Native writers were part of the show, Guzikowski acknowledged.

Tribal members are currently suing the makers of Out of the Furnace, a film that depicts the Ramapough in a negative light.

Besides Momoa, the cast of The Red Road includes Kiowa Gordon, who is a member of the Hualapai Tribe. He's posted pictures from the show on his Twitter feed.

The show debuts February 27.

Get the Story:
Sundance’s ‘The Red Road’ Aims to Stay Authentic With a Pretend Indian Tribe, Producers Say (The Wrap 1/11)
Jason Momoa: Sundance's 'Red Road' 'Most Challenging Thing I've Ever Done' (The Hollywood Reporter 1/11)

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Ramapough Nation slams film for negative portrayal of tribe (12/12)