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Arts & Life

"Dances With Wolves" 25th Anniversary Celebration In Rapid City

Courtesy Prairie Edge Trading Company and Galleries

The 25th anniversary of the film “Dances With Wolves” is being celebrated in Rapid City this holiday weekend with day-long showings of the classic Western at Prairie Edge Trading Company and Galleries.

SDPB’s Jim Kent visited with some of those involved in the event and has this report.

It’s been 25 years since Dances With Wolves was released in theatres across the country. The Academy-Award winning movie was filmed in South Dakota. Its success brought considerable attention to the state as well as work to many locals who took part in the production.

Dan Tribby is General Manager of Prairie Edge.

“You know, it really put South Dakota front and center for a long time,” Tribby recalls. “I think you can remember just how well that movie was received worldwide. And really gave South Dakota a chance to show people what’s going on here.”

Credit Courtesy Prairie Edge Trading Company and Galleries
Paintings by Lakota artist Del Iron Cloud on shingles from the roof of the Fort Hays headquarters building in "Dances With Wolves".

Tribby adds that the film changed the view of Native Americans that had been held by many people.

“And probably the real key to that is people really started to look not at the old historical stereotypes of Indian people but that living…breathing…caring…just a whole different perspective,” explains Tribby. “And soften the image. And just really made people look at Native American culture in a different way.”

Lakota artist Del Iron Cloud created a number of paintings on shingles taken from the roof of a fort used in the film. He’ll be adding to that collection at Prairie Edge during the anniversary celebration.

“Dances With Wolves” will show continuously at Prairie Edge between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. today and Saturday with free admission. Community members who were involved in the production will also be on hand to share their stories.

Dan Tribby sees “Dances With Wolves” as a hinge in the turning point of relations between Natives and non-Natives.

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