Meet Cast, Crew of Lakota Documentary

From the South Dakota Cultural Heritage Center
PIERRE, S.D. -- A free public showing of “Rising Voices/Hotȟaŋiŋpi” opens Tuesday, Nov. 10, at 7 p.m. CST at the South Dakota Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre.

A reception with cast members and the film director will precede the showing at 6:30 p.m. with light refreshments available. Limited seating will be available for the film, shown in the center’s Education Room. “Rising Voices/Hotȟaŋiŋpi” tells the story of a passionate, dedicated and diverse group of people -- members of the Lakota community and linguists from outside of the community -- who are working together to save the Lakota language and restore it to its rightful place in Lakota, and American, culture.

Told through the voices of a wide range of Lakota people who share their feelings about their language and the myriad challenges facing their community, the film also incorporates four short films created for “Rising Voices” by Lakota filmmakers and artists, each one giving a perspective on how finding one’s authentic “language” connects a person to a deeper sense of culture.

“We are pleased to be able to provide one of the South Dakota screenings of this powerful and important film,” commented Jay Smith, museum director for the South Dakota State Historical Society. “We look forward to meeting the remarkable team that put this film together.”

“Rising Voices” offers a snapshot into the day-to-day struggles of one of the biggest American Indian nations, and illuminates the problem of ancestral language loss to American Indian people. The film by Lawrence Hott and Diane Garey is a production of Florentine Films/Hott Productions, Inc. in association with The Language Conservancy.

To see five additional short videos about Lakota language, film credits, a study guide and more press materials, including a full transcript of the film, visit

The project is funded by Vision Maker Media with major sponsorship provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Administration for Native Americans, the Dakota Indian Foundation, the South Dakota Humanities Council and the North Dakota Humanities Council – a nonprofit, independent state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in “Rising Voices” do not necessarily reflect those of the North Dakota Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The Language Conservancy is a nonprofit organization that works with American Indian tribes to preserve their ancestral languages by providing educational materials, teacher trainings, dictionaries and other materials that assist in language revitalization. The primary service area for the Language Conservancy is in the American Northwest, including Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota. The executive producer for The Language Conservancy is Wilhelm Meya, and the executive producer for Vision Maker Media is Shirley K. Sneve.