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Arts & Life

Dakota Midday: 'We Are a Horse Nation'


The new film, We Are a Horse Nation, is a documentary about efforts to revive connections between the Oceti Sakowin (Lakota, Dakota and Nakota) peoples and Sunka Wakan Oyae (Horse Nation). It tells stories of how closer relationships with horses are helping children and young adults on reservations in South Dakota, North Dakota and Nebraska.

The film is directed by Keith Brave Heart and Jim Cortez. Brave Heart is the social marketing manager of the Tiwahe Glu Kini Pi (Bringing the Family Back to Life) program at Sinte Gleska University. The program provides mental health services for Lakota youth and their families, including equine therapy. Jim Cortez heads the media department at Sinte Gleska.

We Are a Horse Nation receives its Black Hills premiere on Wednesday, December 17th at the Dahl Arts Center in Rapid City. The screening begins at 5 pm. Following the film, there’s a roundtable discussion about what the horse means to artists who include the horse in their works, and the artist’s role in representing their communities, helping to break stereotypes and working toward positive social change. This event is free and open to the public.

Keith Brave Heart and Jim Cortez joined Dakota Midday and discussed the film.