Industrial hemp is illegal in the United States due to its relationship to marijuana; it’s also one of the few profitable plants which can grow in South Dakota’s inhospitable soil. In 2000, Alex White Plume and his Lakota family came up with a plan to farm hemp on their home of Pine Ridge Reservation, relieving the 85% unemployment rate and bringing new life to local economy. Although they believed their tribe’s legal ordinance separating non-psychedelic industrial hemp from marijuana would protect them, the DEA came anyway — but the White Plume family refused to give up on their future.
“Standing Silent Nation” tells the story of one family caught in between tribal sovereignty, federal law, and economic survival.
Watch “Standing Silent Nation” on the American Archive of Public Broadcasting website.
Check back here every Tuesday, or follow us at @amarchivepub on Twitter to keep up with featured streaming films over the 40 weeks of the celebration. You can find the complete schedule here.
About Vision Maker Media
Vision Maker Media is the premier source for quality American Indian and Alaska Native educational and home videos. All aspects of Vision Maker Media programs encourage the involvement of young people to learn more about careers in the media – to be the next generation of storytellers. Vision Maker Media envisions a world changed and healed by understanding Native stories and the public conversations they generate.
With funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), Vision Maker Media’s Public Media Content Fund awards support to projects with a Native American theme and significant Native involvement that ultimately benefits the entire public media community. Vision Maker Media, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) empowers and engages Native People to tell stories. For more information, www.visionmakermedia.org
Each week for the next forty weeks, a different film featuring Native voices from Native producers will be available to stream free online, in celebration of Vision Maker Media’s 40 years supporting American Indian and Alaska Native film projects.