The Education of Little Tree (film)

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The Education of Little Tree
Directed by Richard Friedenberg
Produced by Jake Eberts
Screenplay by Richard Friedenberg
Earl Hamner, Jr.
Don Sipes
Starring Joseph Ashton
James Cromwell
Tantoo Cardinal
Graham Greene (actor)
Music by Mark Isham
Cinematography Anastas Michos
Edited by Jere Huggins, Wayne Wahrman
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release dates
  • December 25, 1997 (1997-12-25)
Country United States
Language English

The Education of Little Tree is a 1997 American film written and directed by Richard Friedenberg based on the controversial 1976 fictional memoir of the same title by Asa Earl Carter (writing under the pseudonym Forrest Carter) about an orphaned boy raised by his paternal Scottish-descent grandfather and Cherokee grandmother in the Great Smoky Mountains.[1][2]


In the 1930s, an eight-year-old boy who is later given the Native American name "Little Tree" (Joseph Ashton) was being raised alone by his widowed mother and is left an orphan when she dies of illness. His white mother's sister comes to take him but his paternal grandfather (James Cromwell) and grandmother (Tantoo Cardinal), whose ancestors had escaped from the Trail of Tears and hid in the Great Smoky Mountains, arrive and take the boy to live with them. In his grandparents' care, the boy, learns about his heritage as a descendant of Native Americans in the United States through them and their Cherokee friend Willow John (Graham Greene).

Little Tree is removed from his home by the government and placed in the Notched Gap Indian School, a fictional Native American boarding school whose mission is to reform Native children and make them assimilate into the dominate white culture, but Little Tree's grandfather, through the instigation of Willow John, soon rescues him and takes him back home.

Cast and characters[edit]


Related Pages[edit]

The Education of Little Tree
Asa Earl Carter

External links[edit]