This film was created in line with Native healing practices. In honoring this ceremony, Smooth Feather Productions are screening and distributing "Dakota 38" as a gift rather than for sale. This film was inspired by one individual's dream and is not promoting any organization or affiliated with any political or religious groups. It was simply created to encourage healing and reconciliation.
View video: Dakota 38
In the spring of 2005, Jim Miller, a Native spiritual leader and Vietnam veteran, found himself in a dream riding on horseback across the great plains of South Dakota. Just before he awoke, he arrived at a riverbank in Minnesota and saw 38 of his Dakota ancestors hanged. At the time, Jim knew nothing of the largest mass execution in United States history, ordered by Abraham Lincoln on December 26, 1862. "When you have dreams, you know when they come from the creator... As any recovering alcoholic, I made believe that I didn't get it. I tried to put it out of my mind, yet it's one of those dreams that bothers you night and day."
Now, four years later, embracing the message of the dream, Jim and a group of riders retrace the 330-mile route of his dream on horseback from Lower Brule, South Dakota to Mankato, Minnesota to arrive at the hanging site on the anniversary of the execution. "We can't blame the wasichus anymore. We're doing it to ourselves. We're selling drugs. We're killing our own people. That's what this ride is about, is healing." This is the story of their journey - the blizzards they endure, the Native and Non-Native communities that house and feed them along the way, and the dark history they are beginning to wipe away.
Become a Backer
From the beginning "Dakota 38" has been created by an entirely volunteer crew, and in honoring Native traditions surrounding ceremonies, Smooth Feather Productions decided that they would distribute the film as a gift rather than for sale.
All of the production costs have been funded by the "Backers" of "Dakota 38". If you're inspired to make a contribution to help with the expenses relating to printing DVDs, postage, etc., feel free to click on the "Back Dakota 38" logo below and add your name to the list.
Back to Top
Return to Native American Videos main index page.