Teaching Native Youth to Tell Their Own Stories (and Have Fun Doing It!)
From the offensive sports team names to inaccurate narratives in movies and on TV, damaging depictions of Native Americans are still far too common in our culture. That’s begun to change, thanks to the tireless work of activists and allies. What comes next? On Pine Ridge Reservation, in rural South Dakota, the answer is obvious: new stories about Lakota people—told from their perspective and centered on their lived experience.
Outlast Arts and Education is a volunteer-driven summer camp that provides annual film and media arts training to Lakota children and adolescents aged 8-19. Campers learn digital literacy, art, and leadership skills from a group of trained film and media professionals, artists, and teachers. The programming is designed both to foster community and a sense of belonging and to help students realize their own creative efforts, from short films and documentaries, to music videos, podcasts, and self-portraits. Now in its sixth year, Outlast has already sent three former campers to the Institute of the American Indian Arts and its staff is helping three more apply to film school.
Our grant will help cover the costs of breakfast, lunch, and a snack for Outlast campers, so that—as Outlast Executive Director LaTerrian Officer-McIntosh puts it—“campers are focused on their art and never their hunger.” We can’t wait to see what Outlast serves up.