Native American Leader Pursues ‘Return to the Way It Used to Be’ on Yellowstone

Julia Seymour | July 12, 2020
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The show Yellowstone is, in many ways, about the clashes between people who want very different futures. John Dutton (Kevin Costner) always fights to protect his ranch to keep it for future generations of his family. Meanwhile tribal chairman Thomas Rainwater’s (Gil Birmingham) vision of the future is a return to the past.  

Rainwater is not shy about sharing his vision of a valley denuded of homes, ranches and farms. He considers this to be “land ravaged by man.” He wants to see it all belong again to his tribe, the Confederated Tribes of Broken Rock, for them to live off the land like they used to. His long plan and motivation for building a casino is to make enough money to buy all the land back for his people since the American government won’t give it back to them.