Indians of North America Series: The Yankton Sioux. Edited film documents the history of the Yankton Sioux American Indians since the arrival of European settlers in the plains around the Black Hills. Emphasized are the continual conflicts with the United States government over land rights and government policies of assimilation. Film explores the particular history of the Yankton, one of the 14 divisions of the Sioux tribe; explanations reveal both Yankton and general Sioux history. Themes featured include: the change from an agricultural and hunting existance to a trade existance by 1800; The Yankton relationship with non-Indians in the area; the effects of various government acts and policies such as the 1887 Dawes Act and the Indian Reorganization Act, the role of the casino on the reservation; the syncretic relationship between the Sioux religion and the Catholic church. Film documents various spiritual ceremonies and activities: the Sioux Sun Dance ceremony, use of the sacred pipe as part of the prayer ritual; the vision quest; the role of the sweat lodge; feasts where members exchange gifts. Footage depicts drumming and dancing at a powwow, Sioux cabins and teepees, buffalo hunting, casinos on tribal land, interviews with Yankton elders and youths.
Human Studies Film Archives, Smithsonian Museum Support Center, Suitland, MD