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Engaging Faith: Practical lesson ideas and activities for Catholic Educators

April 16, 2012

Native American Teens Make Video to Show Who They Are

National Public Radio recently featured the video “More Than That." A group of Lakota teenagers on South Dakota’s Rosebud Sioux Reservation created this video (with the help of their teachers) to challenge the culture’s stereotypes about Native Americans which they claim focus on poverty, alcoholism, and violence.

The Lakota students responded negatively to a “20/20” news magazine report that focused on these areas on the nearby Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, prompting them to take action. The title of their video, “More Than That,” contradicts the stereotypes and says “we are so much more than that.”

The students’ video has received over 46,000 hits on YouTube in December of 2011. They have also been invited to Washington, DC for a conference and will be lobbying their South Dakota congressional representatives.

The video is about two-and-one-half minutes long and not only challenges stereotypes but does so in a very honest and powerful teenage way. You might use it as a model for student projects, as the focus of a prayer reflection and discussion, or as part of a presentation on racism in a Catholic Social Teaching course.


1 Sister Carol Jean

April 18, 2012
Here is a youtube link to the original news story with Diane Sawyer: I used the news video and the student video in a junior Morality course to begin a discussion on the meaning of Solidarity in our Catholic tradition. The students picked up on the difference between working with and learning from those with whom we stand in Solidarity versus doing and giving for others without the sharing of Solidarity.

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