Lakota elders have used oral tradition – or storytelling – to pass on the history and culture of their people for thousands of years.
With support from the Better Way Foundation and the Indian Mission School Network, fourth-graders from the Red Cloud and Our Lady of Lourdes Schools launched the “Our Community Story” project.
Audrey Jacobs is the project’s coordinator. She says the goal of the cross-generational assignment is for the students to use video interviews, visual art and music to tell their community story.
“The students are interviewing various members of their community,” explains Jacobs, “artists…people who have various different professions and especially the elders. And they are collecting these stories and asking questions that are their own questions and they are collecting that information and we are just about to launch in to the script writing aspect of the movie making process.’
A short film exploring the history that exists on the Pine Ridge Reservation called “Life Then And Now”
is intended as the end result of the “Our Community Story” project.
The fourth-grade students taking part will edit the film themselves with minimal supervision from Jacobs. A screening is tentatively planned for early May.