Wahpeton Dakota Nation culture to be focus of documentary series
- EFN Staff | June 29, 2020
The history and culture of Wahpeton Dakota Nation (WDN) will be the focus of a six-part documentary series to be produced by a California production company.
“We are excited about this opportunity to record and share our Dakota Wichoh’an for future generations and others,” Wahpeton Chief John Waditaka said in a news release.
“Our people are proud of our Dakota Wichoh’an, and our contributions to mankind, and it is important to us that our traditions and sacred beliefs are accurately represented to others and maintained from generation to generation.”
Wahpeton Dakota Developments (WDD), the business arm of the First Nation, which is located 15 km northwest of Prince Albert. signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with San Diego-based To The Stars Academy of Arts & Science (TTSA) to develop a six-part docu-series focusing on Dakota Wichoh’an, including their culture, history, traditions and spirituality. The development of a video library is also part of the plan, according to a media release.
“This MOU gives us an opportunity to work with an experienced and professional partner on this important initiative for our Nation.” Waditaka said.
It is important to Wahpeyton that any project involving its people includes employment and training opportunities and economic development, said Robert Fincati, CEO of WDD.
“This project has the potential to include both temporary and long-term employment opportunities in film, radio, television, and internet. And training and mentorship opportunities will be part of it.
“There are some long-term plans for a potential first-of-its-kind Indigenous People Television Network, radio station, film company and internet podcasts. We are very excited about this incredible opportunity and look forward to working with Tom DeLonge and his talented team.”
TTSA is headed Tom DeLonge, formerly of the rock bands Angels & Airwaves and Blink-182 and who served as an executive producer for HISTORY channel’s docuseries Unidentified: Inside America’s UFO Investigation.
TTSA was co-founded by DeLonge along with an experienced team with backgrounds across science, government and business that focuses on stories that inspire a new understanding and appreciation for the profound mysteries of our universe, the release said.
“The series will involve an intimate look at the rich culture and contributions of the WDN people while promoting WDN heritage, art, and culture,” said DeLonge. “This is an exciting initiative for us to continue our mandate to tell deeply rich stories that will benefit the future of humanity. I am honoured that the people of WDN have agreed to work with us to tell their important story.”
The docu-series will focus on topics such as creation stories and history of the WDN people. WDN will review and approve all footage before airing to protect certain sacred ceremonies. Preproduction is anticipated to begin Spring 2021.