Lakota Students Take Voices to Washington, Get NPR Attention

Lakota students have garnered national attention with a video they produced to combat stereotypes of life on Native American reservations.

After a 20/20 special aired on ABC October 14, 2011, Lakota students from the Rosebud Sioux Reservation responded with a video dispelling stereotypes perpetuated by the special, titled “Hidden America: Children of the Plains.

The students were invited to attend the National Association of Federally Impacted Schools Spring Conference February 26 to 28 in Washington, D.C. Conference attendees watched the 20/20 special on February 27, along with the response video from the Lakota students. While in town the Lakota students lobbied South Dakota’s congressional representatives for more federal funding for reservation schools.

The students’ story and video was also featured in a piece by Jim Kent of NPR on February 27.

“During a break from their classes, a few of the students in the video say their goal was to tell the world the truth about life on the res, be it Rosebud or any of the other reservations in South Dakota,” Kent says in the story.

“Who are they to say what we are when they don’t even know us,” Feather Rae Colombe told Kent. She appeared in the "More than that…" video.

Kent also spoke with Kim Bos, the non-Native video technology teacher who helped the students with the video project. Bos says the kids are walking a little taller since they put their views out there with the video.

“I think they’ve started to realize their voice in this world will matter, people will listen to you, but you have to be saying something worth listening to,” Bos told Kent.

The video, which was a class project filmed in black and white, has garnered more than 52,000 hits since it was posted December 12, 2011.

Click here to listen to the full NPR story.

See the student video here.