BHSU Center for American Indian Studies Releases New Documentary

The Black Hills State University Center for American Indian Studies announced the public release of their documentary “Howasteya Oyuspapi: Capturing Their Good Voices.” 
Dr. Urla Marcus, director for the Center of American Indian Studies, and Dr. Rosie Sprague, instructor for the Center for American Indian Students at BHSU, said this project came about as a reaction to the 2020 COVID pandemic as many Indigenous communities worried about the health and future of their elders. This documentary, which was filmed in the summer of 2022, aims to preserve elders’ wisdom, cultural knowledge, and experiences for generations to come. “We just started seeing a lot of our elders passing away, and so we thought we need to interview these elders and we need to capture their knowledge, stories, and education,” Marcus said.  
The two professors put together a team of camera crew, editors, and interviewers that consisted of work study students from across the state. They spent time traveling throughout South Dakota to complete interviews with six elders: John Eagle Shield, Sr. (Hunkpapa Lakota/Standing Rock Sioux Tribe), Duane Hollow Horn Bear (Sicangu Lakota/Rosebud Sioux Tribe), Jerome Kills Small (Oglala Lakota/Oglala Sioux Tribe), A. Gay Kingman (Lakota/Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe), Faith Spotted Eagle (Ihanktonwan/Oceti Sakowin), and Beverly Stabber Warne (Oglala Lakota/Oglala Sioux Tribe).    
The film, which was made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, is free to view and hosted on the BHSU website along with a downloadable viewing guide to aid discussions in educational settings. Sprague said the grant funding they received was crucial to their ability to keep this documentary a free resource. “Many times, people come into our communities and interview elders and take our traditional knowledge and go off and make a profit. We are pushing back against that and allowing this to be accessible to anyone,” Sprague explained. 
The documentary and viewing guide can be viewed at For more information, contact Dr. Rosie Sprague at