The 6th Trading Stories Native American Film Festival continues today at the Chadron Public Library.
This year’s festival theme is honoring Oglala Lakota leader and holy man Black Elk Hehaka Sapa,
Trading Stories is put on by the library and the Library Foundation/ Foundation President Roger Mays says this year’s Festival is a little different because it has just 2 films and 3 academic sessions.
Today’s schedule begins at 5:00 with musician Dan Holtz offering a musical tribute to Black Elk. Holz is an award-winning recently-retired English professor from Peru State and former state historical society board member.
He’s followed at 6:00 by Chadron State College professor Mike Leite, who will talk about the geology of Black Elk Peak, the tallest mountain in the Black Hills. It was originally for General William Harney, but renamed in 2016.
Wrapping up the evening at 7:00 will be the first of this year’s 2 films, the documentary Walking the Good Red Road: Nicholas Black Elk’s Journey to Sainthood.
Although considered a Lakota holy man, Black Elk converted to Catholicism in his 40s. The Rapid City diocese proposed Black Elk for sainthood in 2017 and co-produced the film to support its case. It had its premiere on ABC in May of last year
Introducing the documentary will be Bill White, the vice-postulator for the diocese of the sainthood effort. White, an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, will also lead a discussion period after the film.
Tomorrow’s schedule has a children’s program at 10:00, musical presentations at 1:00 and 2:00, and talks on medicinal plants of the high plains and Native American healing in the 21st century at 3:00 and 4:00.
Concluding this year’s Trading Stories festival is the theatrical film Little Big Man, based in part on Black Elk experiences as a 13-year old warrior at the Battle of the Little Bighorn. All the festival activities are free and open to the public.