Running Brings Hope to Native American Youth

Staff Writer
A new documentary, Run to the East, shows how the sport shapes the lives of young athletes

The reality of life on Native American reservations can be bleak—substandard education, drug use, alcoholism and suicide are common. However, running is breaking hope to some young people in these societies.

Run to the East is a documentary that features high school seniors on Native American reservations that are trying to beat the odds to earn a running scholarship to a prestigious college.

Running has long been a part of spiritual practice in Native American culture, based on the lessons it imparts about struggle, endurance and strength. For the students in the film, running offers hope as they learn resilience, mental toughness and what it feels like to win.

The film has already won several prestigious awards including Official Selection at the Manhattan, Wyoming International and Arizona International Film Festivals.