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"Our Community Story" Project Wraps On Pine Ridge

Courtesy Red Cloud School

The Red Cloud Heritage Center’s “Our Community Story” project has ended with screenings of students’ interviews of elders, artists and professionals from the Pine Ridge Reservation. We  visited with Lakota parents to see what they thought about the months’ long school assignment and its benefits to their children.

Students, teachers and family members are gathered at Our Lady of Lourdes Elementary School in Porcupine for the screening of videos produced by a group of 4th graders. This is the final installment of work by students from

OLL and the Red Cloud School that’s part of a project called “Our Community Story”.

Program coordinator Audrey Jacobs explains.

Credit Courtesy Farrah Oliver
“Our Community Story” project coordinator Audrey Jacobs (right) discusses the filmmaking process with students from Our Lady of Lourdes Elementary School.

“This was a documentary film project…the pilot year where the fourth graders told their own story about their community…by interviewing various people of the community and then talking about what they learned.” 

Jacobs says the fourth-grade students produced the videos with very little assistance from the schools’ staff .

“Before we really got into the editing, I was worried that that would be very, very difficult,” she recalls. “It’s fourth graders. But they actually, you know…like kids do, they took to it…the editing part…like fish to water. They just have a 6th sense about technology. Even stuff that they haven’t used before.”

Farrah Oliver’s daughter, Kerra, interviewed the Lakota music-duo “Scatter Their Own” for her part of the project. 

Credit Courtesy Red Cloud School
Fourth-grade students from Red Cloud and Our Lady of Lourdes schools had the opportunity to view their completed work for the “Our Community Story” film project with their teachers and parents present.

“For me it was a great experience because public speaking and interviewing and being able to get someone‘s story out there and be part of that process,” observes Oliver, “it was a great learning experience for her. So it was absolutely wonderful to watch that and watch what my daughter was a part of. It was fantastic.”

As for the kids….

“It was kind of cool ‘cause it gave us a chance to meet new people,” says one. 

“It meant a lot because everyone got to see my video and it was fun,” adds another.

“It was pretty fun because I know how to make a film now,” a third student comments 

Audrey Jacobs says the “Our Community Story” project will continue next year at which time she plans to give the students even more freedom in the production process. 

Related links: 



Pine Ridge Students Develop Film Project
Lakota Student Film Project Nears Completion