Main content

Cowboys, Indians, and Lawyers

COWBOYS, INDIANS and LAWYERS follows the fortunes of two enemy camps as they struggle over the fate of the free-flowing Animas River in Colorado. A dam project called ALP was authorized by Congress over 30 years ago to help white farmers irrigate desert lands, but has never been built. The filmmaker, a former New Yorker, becomes obsessed with ALP as she learns the dam is tied to massive development plans including coal mines, power plants, and housing developments. With the Southern Ute Indian tribe recruited as a key promoter, Sage Remington--a radical Southern Ute activist-- pits himself against his own tribal government and their politically connected lawyer, Sam Maynes. While Sam's friendship with the tribal chairman helps solidify the tribe's alliance with developers, Sage finds allies in a ragtag group of white environmentalists.

Can a multicultural alliance of determined activists stop a dam supported by the biggest development interests in the Southwest? In an intimate portrait of pork barrel politics, COWBOYS, INDIANS and LAWYERS bears witness as these unlikely nemeses bring their case to the halls of Congress, revealing the rich complexities of American politics and Anglo-Indian relations through a rural community's battle over money, power and water.

Related Films

Drowned Out

An Indian family chooses to stay at home and drown rather than make way…


Explores the sea change in national attitude from pride in big dams as…