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ONEIDA NATION, Wisc. — Rick Hill, the former tribal chairman of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin and former chairman of the National Indian Gaming Association, spent the last three years of his life working to get "Bright Path:  The Jim Thorpe Story” produced. Hill walked on suddenly early Friday. He was 66.

Hill was one of the executive producers of "Bright Path: The Jim Thorpe Story." In late October, he attended the National Congress of American Indians Annual Convention in Albuquerque, N.M. to raise funds for the film project. He was looking forward to being in Rapid City, South Dakota for the 43rd Annual Lakota Nation Invitational to continue to work on the film.

On Friday evening, Pictureworks Entertainment, the company producing "Bright Path: The Jim Thorpe Story," issued the following statement:

”We at Pictureworks Entertainment are mourning the loss of Rick Hill, our brother, our colleague and our dearest friend.  Our hearts go out to Rick’s children, his brother and sister, the entire Hill family and the Oneida Nation during this difficult time.

For the past three years, Rick has dedicated himself to serving as an Executive Producer on “Bright Path:  The Jim Thorpe Story” a major motion picture film project.  Without his leadership, hard work and commitment to tell Jim Thorpe’s story accurately we would not be as far along on the project as we are today.  Rick strongly believed in telling the true story of Jim Thorpe and correcting the depiction Hollywood portrayed of Jim in the early 1950s.

Pictureworks Entertainment is dedicated to continuing to work on this film in truthfulness and integrity to honor both of these strong Indian warriors, Rick Hill and Jim Thorpe.

Forever Rick, you will be with us in our hearts.”

Nedra Darling, Executive Producer

Chris Taylor, Executive Producer

Abraham Taylor, Producer

 

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Levi Rickert (Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation) is the founder, publisher and editor of Native News Online. Rickert was awarded Best Column 2021 Native Media Award for the print/online category by the Native American Journalists Association. He serves on the advisory board of the Multicultural Media Correspondents Association. He can be reached at [email protected]