The First American Music: Sterlin Harjo on “This May Be the Last Time”

by Abby Wendle


Sterlin Harjo is the director and producer of a new documentary called “This May Be the Last Time.” The film tells the story of the songs his ancestors composed and sang on the Trail of Tears — hymns written in the Muscogee (Creek) language, but rooted in Christian belief. The hymns continue to be sung in the Indian Churches of his hometown in Southeast Oklahoma.

Here, Harjo speaks with Abby Wendle about his grandfather’s disappearance, returning to his hometown, and the cross-pollination of cultures that produced these songs.

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“The Last Time”- The Rolling Stones
“Espogedes”- Performed by Curtis Scott with the Salt Creek Indian Baptist Church
“Cehotosakvtes”- Performed by Curtis Scott
“This May Be The Last Time”- Sweet Honey in the Rock

This May Be The Last Time – Official Trailer from THIS LAND PRESS on Vimeo.