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A crowd-funded feature-length documentary aims to help revitalize the Lakota language. Discover the inspiring film project 'Oyate Woyaka' today.

The Lakota people will tell their story in ‘Oyate Woyaka’

Sometimes a film is about more than just entertainment. What if a movie really could make a difference in the world? That’s the goal of Oyate Woyaka, a feature-length documentary that’s turned to Kickstarter for funding. The film takes its name from the Lakota words for “the people speak,” and it aims to preserve the Lakota language and help the Lakota people heal from generations of historical trauma.

Language is at the heart of culture, and the Lakota language is deeply entrenched in the cultural & spiritual practices of all Lakota people. Oyate Woyaka aims to tell the story of the loss of the Lakota language while also working to revitalize the language and encourage its growth. Right now there are still enough Lakota speakers to produce a real revitalization effort, but time for that is running short.

You can help support Oyate Woyaka by backing the project on Kickstarter. A film with this much potential for cultural impact doesn’t come around very often, so you should absolutely contribute if you are able. If you want to know more about the project and the people behind it, read on. We’ve got all the important details for you right here.

Using their voice

Oyate Woyaka stands out among other documentaries because it allows the Lakota people to tell their own story. The story is told from the perspective of Lakota elders, many of whom are survivors of assimilation schools, and they are allowed to talk about their experience and how it continues to affect the world today.

The film is co-directed by Lakota elder Bryant High Horse and experienced filmmaker George McAuliffe. Its production is also supported by many elders, spiritual leaders, and Native American activists. Currently the production includes George “Tink” Tinker, Steven Newcomb, Dollie Red Elk, Ben Rhodd and Duane Hollow Horn Bear, Arlene Muller, Pasha Gazdyuk, Andres Acosta, Eric Schleicher, and the Sicangu Oyate.

Inspiration & goals

Many people are familiar with the genocidal horrors that Native Americans have faced throughout history. Most think that there’s nothing to be done about the crimes of the psat, but Oyate Woyaka will change that perspective. The film will show how there is work that can be done to support Native American people, languages, and cultures that will keep them alive well into the future.

There’s never been a better time for a documentary like this. Just this summer hundred of Native American children were discovered in an unmarked grave in Kamloops, BC. The horrors of the past live on today, so they must be combatted today. Oyate Woyaka will show the path forward by leaning on the knowledge of elders from the past.

The film’s Kickstarter page says that it is “dedicated to all people in the world experiencing life through the lens of oppression; providing a platform, message, and an opportunity to help raise awareness to a larger audience that we are all connected.” Become a part of that positive force and help to change the world for the better by supporting Oyate Woyaka on Kickstarter today.

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