If you live in the Black Hills area you may have seen a recent commercial entirely in Lakota on TV.
It’s an advertisement for the Black Hills Federal Credit Union and it’s airing on every broadcast and cable TV network in the Hills area
Credit Union officials say they want to reach out to Lakota people in their own language.
Two Lakota versions of the BHFCU commercial are circulating, one with the Lakota female dialect and one with the male. A third version of the commercial is in English.
You can view one of the commercials with the Lakota female dialect here. You can view the commercial with the male dialect here. The English version is here.
The voices in all three commercials are over images of a family traveling towards the Black Hills.
For Tanya Fiddler the ads in Lakota are positive step forward.
“They point to the diversity of our state and offer a new effort at inclusion,” says Fiddler, who is a business leader working on economic development in Indian Country with the Native CDFI network.
“We bring not only culture and heritage as assets to the state, but the resources that come in from our reservation communities as well,” Fiddler adds.
Other business leaders agree. Lakota Mowrer is with Four Bands Community Fund on the Cheyenne River Reservation. She says the ad speaks to the importance of building financial literacy in tribal communities.
“It sort of makes it our own, it makes it more Lakota, and allows us to decide what financial literacy is for ourselves,” says Mowrer.
Officials at Black Hills Federal Credit Union say they chose to put out the commercials in Lakota as a way to honor the importance of Lakota language and culture in the Black Hills and as way to recognize the important contribution Lakota people make to the economy. Credit union officials say they’re stepping up the number of adds airing in February and March.