Tomorrow Bill Weiss and I will begin screening our documentary, Little Crow and the Dakota War. Our production company is Wampum Belt Films, LLC. Tribes used to use wampum belts as objects of great value to accompany great and serious messages to other groups or tribes. This is a fitting title for our film company, as we are bringing an important message regarding our topic. Follow us on Facebook as well as on my Coyote Books blog.
GRASS DANCE of the SPIRIT LAKE DAKOTA. Two weeks ago Cankdeska Cikana Community College of the Spirit Lake Reservation in North Dakota released the Grass Dance book. It was written by my friend, Louie Garcia, and polished and edited by myself. The college, under President Cynthia Lindquist, published it. I was given the privilege of introducing Louie to the audience celebrating the 40th anniversary of the college, and Louie gave a reading!
OLD BETSEY. Bill and I visited Lower Sioux yesterday. Liz Redwing lined-up a number of Little Crow relatives for interviews for the Little Crow documentary. It was Liz's search online for OLD BETSEY that prompted her to get in touch with me. For those who are interested, OLD BETSEY, the book, is available from Coyote Books, as indicated in the BOOK section of this website. The photo is a scene of the sunset as we traveled home.
DAVID WEISS, portraying James Lynde. Bill Weiss and I are still working steadily to complete our documentary entitled, LITTLE CROW AND THE DAKOTA WAR. We have been very fortunate to find people who can portray various characters needed in the film to tell the Little Crow story. Bill Weiss, my co-producer and director, and camera guy, has involved his two brothers--Brian Weiss, who acts as General Henry Sibley, and now David Weiss acting as traders' clerk Henry Lynd. All three brothers are viable actors, although only Brian is actively trying to make a living at it. Lynd traded among the Dakota of Minnesota for a number of years, and wrote a manuscript about the tribe. Included in his work was a very favorable impression of Little Crow, as the greatest of the Dakota leaders of the time and, according to his view, the greatest of Indian orators from any tribe. We hope that within a year that you'll have seen this film and perhaps own a copy. It will be unique in that it will cover the complex story surrounding Little Crow, and also a unique look at the nineteenth century history of the people and land of the State of Minnesota.
Can't help but love God's little creatures. A couple of chipmunks have found the ground below my wife's bird-feeders, and are eagerly eating up everything the birds are spilling. This chipmunk will be named "Chip" of course.
FERN CLOUD. Bill Weiss and I drove to Granite Falls to meet with Little Crow descendant, Fern Cloud. She is a very interesting person and gave us a very thought-provoking discussion on many matters related to Little Crow and her own life as a descendant. We believe her story will greatly enhance our historical documentary on Little Crow.
My wife and I visited the Ute Indian Museum in Montrose, Colorado. Included in their collections are clothing worn by the famous Ute chieftain, Ouray. He lived in the Montrose area in the mid-1800s, as well as in the place known today as Ouray.
Bill Weiss and I have been busily working on our Little Crow documentary. Recently, we filmed a narration section at the Governor's Room at the Minnesota State Capitol building. This room features a painting of the infamous Treaty of Traverse des Sioux of 1851.
I continue to work on my biography of the two Hole in the Day Ojibwe chiefs. In the meantime, I try to get together with Bill Weiss to work on the Little Crow documentary. Recently Lori at the McLeod County Historical Society was willing to be filmed in her Dakota garments as one of Little Crow's wives. She also will appear with speaking roles as Sarah Wakefield and Mrs.Gideon Pond.