A Lakota child attended a government boarding school where his Native identity was suppressed. Now he's reclaiming all that he lost.
Walter Littlemoon is a 69 year old Lakota man born and raised in Wounded Knee, South Dakota. At the age of five, he was removed from his family to attend a federal government boarding school where his culture, language and spirituality were suppressed.
The Thick Dark Fog profiles Walter’s journey to heal himself and his community and to reclaim his heritage. The film’s title comes from Walter’s own self-diagnosis of the state of mind he lived in for so many years until he began to tell his story and heal from his childhood trauma.
Government run Indian boarding schools began in 1879 and continued until the 1970's, when tribes began to take them over. Detailed numbers are unknown, but for the approximately 100,000 American Indian children who attended them during this period, the initial policy was to assimilate the children into the dominant culture by separating them from their families.
As time has passed more positive accounts have surfaced from Indians about their school experiences such as being saved from poverty and making life-long friends. But many Indians buried certain traumatic events away, not wanting or not able to talk about them.
It wasn’t until Walter Littlemoon was almost 60 years old that he could clearly look back on his life and understand the full context of what had happened to him. The Thick Dark Fog is Walter’s testimony of not only what happened to him at boarding school and how it affected the rest of his life, but more importantly it shows how he fought and won his battle against personal demons that had kept him from attaining peace of mind and reclaiming his Native heritage and spirituality.
The Thick Dark Fog shines a much-needed light on the U.S.’s historical relationship with Indians while introducing us to inspiring stories of survival that are virtually unknown to American audiences.
The film is nearing completion! Generous production funding from Native American Public Telecommunications has enable us to get this far, but we still need $15,000 to prepare the film for its PBS broadcast in 2012/13. Please tell your friends about our film, give as much as you can, and receive some great rewards. Thank you.
What will the funds go towards?
Your kind donations will go toward the all important post-production costs of final editing, original music, color correction, sound mix and archival footage.
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Receive a hand-written Indian-themed thank you card from the director and a big mention on our Facebook site and film website blog.
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All of the above PLUS an on-line exclusive screening of The Thick Dark Fog.
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All of the above, PLUS a copy of Walter Littlemoon’s memoir “They Called Me Uncivilized,” PLUS your choice of a 5x7 greeting card by Lakota artist Arthur Short Bull (www.dawnhawk.org), PLUS an on-screen credit.
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All of the above, PLUS a beautiful production still, PLUS a limited edition of the film poster, PLUS a skype conversation with the director, PLUS two tickets to the premiere of the film near you (travel not included), PLUS a pair of beautiful hand-made Indian ear-rings (limit 10) OR a pair of blue Lakota star pillows (limit one) OR a beautiful hand beaded green pendant necklace (limit one).
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All of the above, Plus dinner with the director (on him) in southern California, or if I’m traveling and am in your hometown we'll do it there! PLUS, a pink and blue Lakota star quilt (limit one), PLUS an 8x10 original water color painting by Lakota artist Arthur Short Bull (www.dawnhawk.org).
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All of the above PLUS, for the adventurous, accommodations for two for three days at a bed and breakfast or the Prairie Winds Casino Hotel on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Explore the reservation or visit the sacred and beautiful nearby Black Hills, which are also home to the amazing Crazy Horse Memorial and Mt. Rushmore.
- (30 days)