NDSU alumnus serves as technical adviser for “The Revenant”
Published February 2016
Loren Yellow Bird Sr. will be paying close attention to the Academy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 28.
He served as a technical adviser and linguistic consultant for the movie, “The Revenant,” that stars Leonardo DiCaprio. The film is up for 12 awards, including Best Actor and Best Picture.
Yellow Bird worked with director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and the film crew on location in Calgary, Alberta, and in Hollywood for post-production. He was instrumental in giving the film a more authentic look and sound.
“The Revenant” is based on the life of the early frontiersman Hugh Glass. In 1823, Glass was mauled by a grizzly bear and abandoned by his fur trapping companions. He crawled 200 miles to get revenge.
Yellow Bird befriended DiCaprio and helped him better understand Native American life and culture of the 1820s. He also became good friends with Native American actor Forrest Goodluck, who plays Glass’ son Hawk. Yellow Bird and Goodluck both have tribal ties to the Fort Berthold Reservation in North Dakota.
Yellow Bird earned bachelor degrees in anthropology and history at NDSU. Professor emeritus of anthropology Timothy Kloberdanz served as his academic adviser. “From the first day I met him, I was struck by Loren’s intense desire to do all he could to document and preserve the language and oral traditions of the Arikara people. Time and time again, he impressed me, and I always believed Loren would go on to do wonderful things,” Kloberdanz said.
Yellow Bird is a cultural resource interpreter and park ranger at the Fort Union National Historic Site southwest of Williston, North Dakota.