I met the film-maker Larry Hott three years before he began filming Rising Voices/Hótȟaŋiŋpi, an NEH-funded documentary that tells the story of our tribe's efforts to revitalize the Lakota language. At the time, I was an avid learner of the Lakota language, but I wasn't yet an instructor in the Lakota Language Nest, a pre-school where children are immersed in the Lakota language. The year I met him, Larry came to the community to take preliminary notes. The following year we recorded audio, and the year after we recorded video. The fourth year was when we recorded the majority of the film. When I was asked for an interview, I thought it was a great opportunity to tell the story of our pre-school and of Standing Rock’s communities more generally.
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In early 2011, I received a call from Wil Meya, the director of The Language Conservancy in Bloomington, Indiana. He had an idea for a documentary film and wanted to know if I had any interest in the helping to make the film a reality. I get a lot of calls like this and I was ready to say no; I know how long and hard the climb is to the mountaintop of full funding, production, and eventual broadcast. But there was something intriguing about the idea and, at the same time, something very familiar.
This is a slightly modified version of a post that originally appeared on the National Coalition for History website. Click here to see the original post.
On July 16, the U.S. Senate approved S. 1177, the “Every Child Achieves Act,” with strong bipartisan support. The vote in favor of the bill was 81-17. The bill reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and would replace the much-maligned “No Child Left Behind Act.”