Students taking part in a months-long community film project on the Pine Ridge Reservation have reached the editing portion in their production. We visit with two of those interviewed for the student-lead documentary project “Our Community Story” .
The Red Cloud Heritage Center’s “Our Community Story” project involves student interviews of Lakota elders, artists and adults from various professions.
Don Montileaux is a Rapid City-based artist who frequently visits schools in the area. He teaches kids about his work and inspires them to explore their own talent. Montileaux met with students at Red Cloud and Our Lady of Lourdes for his interviews.
“It probably was like 45 minutes at Our Lady of Lourdes and about an hour and fifteen at Red Cloud,” recalls Montileaux. “And they were well organized. They were great little kids. They had a little set that they had designed at Red Cloud for me. Had a backdrop and everything and 2 comfortable chairs.”
Montilleuax says he was impressed by the level of professionalism shown by the students who asked all their own questions themselves.
“And they conducted the interview just like you’d see on, you know, public TV,” Montileaux observes.
Lakota elder Basil Brave Heart was also interviewed for the project. Brave Heart says many of the students’ questions to him focused on what life was like when he attended Red Cloud School’s predecessor…Holy Rosary Mission.
“It brings the young people and the elders together and there’s a world of difference…what their grandparents experienced,” Brave Heart explains.
Basil Brave Heart says it was interesting for him to see how difficult it was for the students to comprehend items like fresh milk or fresh food deliveries in the 21st century. Brave Heart adds that the students also didn’t understand what the boarding school system was.
The Our Community Story videos are scheduled to be completed and ready for screening by the first week of May.