The Columbus Dispatch
South Dakota film to feature Native American elders’ voices
RAPID CITY, S.D. – Urla Marcus has hoped for a long time to preserve the voices of area elders in a carefully crafted, artistic format. Now Marcus, director of the Center for American Indian Studies at Black Hills State University, will help to shape a documentary to do just that.
Staff members at the Center for American Indian Studies at Black Hills State University are preparing to work on a documentary – and to bolster many of the Center’s services – by drawing from a $242,769 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities that took effect earlier this school year. The grant was made possible by the American Rescue Plan.
The university announced earlier this month that it had been awarded the grant “to restore and expand BHSU Center for American Indian Studies (CAIS) public programming.”
Marcus, a member of the Northern Cheyenne Nation, said the grant facilitated the hiring of Tiarra Little as program manager of the Center for American Indian Studies. Little, a member of the Oglala Lakota Oyate who grew up in the Pine Ridge and Oglala areas, began her position on Nov. 1 and will play a key role in shaping the documentary, the Rapid City Journal reported.
Little earned her master’s degree in Education Policy and Management from Harvard University, and she’s slated to work for a year in the Center for American Indian Studies as she prepares for PH.D. studies.
“She’s going to be spearheading the documentary, and she’s going to be looking at our American Indian Studies program, specifically at our assessment,” Marcus said.