Grant Brittan, Outdoorsman

Grant Brittan

American poet and essayist Gary Snyder once wrote, “Nature is not a place to visit. It is home.” For many, outdoor life is more than a getaway from the bustle of modern life. It brings a sense of peace and comfort that cannot be replaced or replicated.

Even though he grew up in Oklahoma City, Grant Brittan is one of those people who is most at home in the woods, lakes, and rivers of Southeastern Oklahoma. As a boy, he spent most of his summers with his mother’s family on Lake Eufaula in Pittsburg County.

Grant’s grandmother, Corinne Halfmoon, attended Goodland Academy, a Native American boarding school in Hugo, Oklahoma, and he learned much of what he knows about being Choctaw from her. The family also attended the Labor Day Festival every year and attended a Choctaw church in the area.

Young Grant also learned to love the great outdoors during these summer visits. He spent a lot of time hunting, fishing, and practicing archery with his grandfather.

"Being Choctaw is about connection—with family, community, the earth, and with God."

Grant Brittan
Grant Brittan

It was during his time as a film student in New York City that Grant first heard of the Choctaw Nation’s inaugural Wildland Fire Module. The team was established to help with fuels mitigation and wildfire suppression, not just in the Choctaw Nation but anywhere they are called to help. Grant made plans to come home for training in Talihina that summer.

“It’s great if you really want to get in nature. You stay out for two or three days with bare necessities. Plus, you get to ride in helicopters, which I had never done before,” said Grant.
He ended up returning to work with the Wildland Fire Module for three summers, traveling to Washington, Idaho, Colorado, and several other western states.

“You get to see parts of the country you’ve never seen before,” he said.

Grant Brittan

When he wasn’t fighting wildfires and camping under the stars, Grant was preparing for his career in the entertainment industry. As a budding filmmaker and actor, Grant learned what it takes to tell great stories in front of and behind the camera.

His studies, and perhaps his sense of adventure, eventually led him to work as a stuntman on the set of Thunderheart, a feature film starring Val Kilmer as a Native American FBI agent who works to solve a murder on the Sioux reservation.

“All I did was car chases through the Badlands of South Dakota,” he said. Although he is humble about his stunt work, he had to admit, “It was fun.”

Film work is just one facet of Grant’s time in entertainment, however. He served as the assistant stage manager for the American Indian Dance Theatre, a touring troupe of professional performing artists who present the songs and dances of Native Americans and First Nations people throughout the U.S., Canada, and overseas.

Grant Brittan

After over 20 years in the industry, Grant has recently retired, but he still works on film projects now and again, including some acting roles in commercials. He’s also working on a book he hopes to turn into a screenplay.

"It's just time to get away from the phones and the digital barrage that hits people every day."

Grant Brittan

No matter how busy he is, however, Grant still makes time to be outside. Training his rescued German shepherd helps, and he loves to visit Broken Bow and the Blue River when he can.

“It’s just time to get away from the phones and the digital barrage that hits people every day,” said Grant. His sixteen-year-old son often accompanies him on these trips.

Grant’s retirement plans are full of outdoor fun and more work in the film industry. He recently bought a van that he is converting into a camper for traveling and being at home anywhere he roams. He also has a role in an upcoming film in Phoenix.

Together, We're More

More Than an Outdoorsman

For Grant Brittan, being Choctaw is all about being connected — with family, community, God, and the earth. Hear more about his life as an outdoorsman.