Home to one of the seven tribes of the Očhéthi Šakówiŋ or Seven Council Fires, Wazí Aháŋhaŋ Oyáŋke or the Pine Ridge Reservation is located on the southwestern edge of South Dakota. Roughly 40,000 members of the Oglala Sioux Tribe call the Reservation home, an area larger than the states of Delaware and Rhode Island combined. Rich in culture and tradition, the Reservation faces some harsh realities today—the direct result of the historical oppression and systemic injustices. Oglala Lakota County, where the reservation lies, is considered one of the most impoverished place in the United States and is designated by the United States Department of Agriculture as an area of persistent poverty with very few opportunities of employment.
Despite some tough statistics and very real challenges, we’re working to flip the narrative. Art, particularly film, has the power to create dramatic positive change when empowered and supported. Imagine the seeds planted when our Indigenous and Native youth see themselves representation in front of and behind the camera.