Support More Than A Word

From the Filmmakers, John and Kenneth Little.

Háu mitákuyepi! (Hello my relatives!)
My brother and I are working on a documentary on the Washington name issue. We are both enrolled members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and need your support!

We conceived of this project in 2013 and have been filming for over a year. This has included filming the 2014 rally in Minneapolis, Minnesota and the 2015 Chiefs rally . Additionally, we have worked with a variety of other individuals to gain as many interviews as possible. Our documentary focuses on the controversial Washington team name: the R*dskins. To produce this documentary, we have established Black Tongue Dakota Films. The name is derived from the name of our father’s drum group and is a way for us to continue the tradition.

Over the last year, the issue surrounding the Washington team name has gained momentum and received coverage on a variety of news stations and has been a big issue in Indian Country. Despite the increased attention and awareness, we feel that there are still many people who do not fully understand the issue.This includes the idea that Native culture has remained static and failed to survive into the twenty-first century.

The purpose of our documentary will be to include as many perspectives as possible. We believe that the inclusion rather than the exclusion of a variety of perspectives will demonstrate the importance of this issue to both non Natives and Natives alike. Throughout the last year, we have corresponded with and interviewed a variety of individuals. These included Native activists as well as supporters of the R*dskins and Chiefs.

These many perspectives have reiterated the need for a documentary on the issue. It has included viewpoints of those in favor of the name change and those in favor of keeping it. It has truly demonstrated that this issue is More Than A Word.

Growing up in a traditional home, we have been passionate about Native issues our entire lives. Our father started a traditional drum group in the 1960s and 1970s in Denver, Colorado. As a result, we have been aware of Native issues of poverty, tribal sovereignty, and a variety of other issues. We believe in the importance of this issue. Whether you are a fan or against the team name, we believe that each perspective needs to be heard. While we do have biases towards the belief that Indian mascots are a form of cultural appropriation, we believe in attempting to show a complete picture and this will include perspectives of those in favor of the team.We feel that it is only through this objective approach that both sides can truly begin to gain an understanding.

However, we need your support to continue this project.

The money raised during this time will be utilized to begin Phase One of filming, which we would begin in Washington DC. This will include interviews with D.C. located activists as well as Washington name supporters. Historians and academics, who are knowledgeable on the issue and the historical aspects of the word, will also be interviewed. Funds raised will be used to cover equipment and travel costs, as well as any possible fees required to film at some locations. For example, filming at the Smithsonian requires multiple fees to use the location as well as to interview any of its personnel.

We would like to give a special thanks to all of the people that helped make this project possible for their continued dedication, allowing us to interview them, and help promoting. These include: Amanda Blackhorse, Tara Houska, Gregg Deal, Charlene Teters, Mike Myers, Johnnie Jae, Joy Hamilton, the many fans that allowed us to interview them, and many others. Additional thanks for the University of Minnesota Indigenous Workshop. There are countless others that have made this project possible. We would also like to thank those of you supporting us with monetary donations. Your donations will make this project become a reality. We understand that not everyone can support monetarily but sharing, promoting, and getting the word out are just as valuable and we thank you for the time you have taken just to view the demo and page.

About the Filmmakers:


Kenneth Little earned his B.S. in Graphic Design and New Media from Full Sail University. He interned as a graphic designer with Detroit, MI -based Fixt Music from 2010 to 2011. He currently works as a freelance graphic designer and videographer in Kansas City, MO. He has designed several album covers and band logos as well as completed several music videos. He was nominated for Graphic Designer of the Year in the Midwest Music Awards in 2013 and Videographer of the Year in 2014.

John earned his B.A. in History from South Dakota State University and his M.A. in History from the University of South Dakota. He is currently a history PhD student at the University of Minnesota. His focus is on contemporary Native Studies and Native law. His thesis was on Vietnam and the Lakota/Dakota and he will continue this project as his dissertation.