Warriors from the Reservation Company Profile
We are the producers of a multi-faceted (photography, film, digital and print publishing, multimedia) project with a working title of Warriors from the Reservation, depicting the warrior tradition among the Lakota Sioux of Pine Ridge and the modern experience as Native American Veterans in American wars, including the most recent serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Participation in the United States military among all Native Americans is proportionally higher than any other ethnic group. This was true even before 1924, when the Snyder Act granted United States citizenship to all Native Americans. In the 19th century the U. S. Army created a service category of Indian Scouts that served with all major campaigns. There are close to 190,000 living Native American veterans. The end of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will bring back to the reservations a large number of Native Americans suffering from PTSD as a result of their war experience. There is an increasing amount of evidence showing that American Indian Veterans have the highest rate of PTSD of any ethnic group and face significant barriers to care, which increases the levels of dysfunction, including in terms of already high levels of violence and crime. For a population already feeling the extreme burden of poverty, the effects of PTSD only add additional emotional and economic stressors to an already isolated community. However, showing both the light and dark aspects will be important to us as project producers: the irony of serving for a country that has traditionally subjugated, marginalized, and even committed genocide against the Lakota people is a given, but equally important are the reaction of Lakota veterans to the experience of war, and coming home to the reservation--and the genuinely positive aspects of the Lakota means of healing through giving to others and participation in traditional ceremony.