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Snapshots: BBC Talks to Lakota Youth About Life on South Dakota Reservations

BBC Pop Up, the British broadcaster's new "mobile bureau," spent December in South Dakota. BBC's Benjamin Zand spends a few days on Rosebud and Pine Ridge talking to young people (42% of South Dakota's tribal population is younger than 25) about their identity and aspirations.

Among those appearing in this video snapshot:

  • "America is a stolen country," says Justin Rowland, guide at the Wounded Knee Massacre site and descendant of Lakota people killed by the U.S. Army at the site 114 years ago.
  • Sicangu Lakota Shane Red Hawk has participated in Cowboy and Indian Allians protests against the Keystone XL pipeline.
  • Willi White and Indigene Studios co-founder Angela White Eyes are working on their first major project, The People, a futuristic dystopian short shot entirely on Pine Ridge.
  • Scatter Their Own duo Scotti Clifford and Julia Brown Eyes-Clifford says their music "pays tribute to the concepts and philosophy of their Lakota culture while fusing Alternative Rock and Blues into what they would like to call Alter-Native Rock and Roll. They believe that their music celebrates Grandmother Earth." (Calm down, Sibby. It's just rock and roll.)


  1. Mark Remily 2015.01.04

    Thanks Cory for paying attention and sharing this crucial information. Our State government needs to work harder in helping our Native brothers and sisters. This story needs to be viewed by all of our legislators. Though most won't. Our tribes have thousands of stories that should be told. The book Black Elk Speaks should be made into a major motion picture. It tells the TRUE story of the Tribes from Gen. Custer to Wounded Knee through the eyes of someone who lived through it all.

  2. jerry 2015.01.04

    Excellent find Cory! Thanks for bringing this to the table. Let us hope that Native peoples will find a way to channel their desires at the ballot boxes and by also putting more Natives into the system for change.

  3. Jaka 2015.01.04

    again, Cory H, thanks for your diligence in serving up "good stuff" to people. You are getting kinda like PBS!!!!
    (tinkle the tip jar , anyone?)

  4. Deb Geelsdottir 2015.01.04

    "The People" looks like a very good movie. On their website you can watch the trailer and also donate to their Indiegogo fundraiser. I'm looking forward to an opportunity to see it.

  5. Paul Seamans 2015.01.05

    The state government has a State-Tribal Relations Committee that has some pretty good people on it (Jim Bradford, Troy Heinert, Kevin Killer, Billie Sutton, and others). Their main push seems to be economic development on the reservations, which is good. But for real reconciliation between natives and non-natives we need to work together on issues that are important to both groups. We need to look at each other as equals rather than as members of a different race.

  6. larry kurtz 2015.01.05

    Neville Chamberlain would be proud.

  7. jerry 2015.01.05

    If the state backs an industry that provides employment for the Karen, does it not seem feasible to try something similar on a reservation? $12.00 bucks an hour is something with a future could make a huge impact on a reservation.

  8. Deb Geelsdottir 2015.01.05

    That's an excellent point Jerry. I agree.

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