Oneida Speak, The


Rising Voices
Across the Creek
The Thick Dark Fog
Urban Rez

The instructional television program, The Oneida Speak, is based in part on oral interviews of Oneida Indian elders in Wisconsin conducted between 1939-1941, as a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project sponsored by the federal government. Several stories from these interviews are reenacted in this program, which also includes interviews of contemporary Oneida historians, cultural preservationists, and elders by program producers.

Blend traditional Oneida storytelling with modern media, providing a window to a world that no longer exists. A personal account written by the elders of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin during the early 1930s as it portrays the land grab policies carried out by government agents.

Michelle Danforth began her journey in 2001 by taking a pay cut and working part-time for Wisconsin Public Television as a Production Assistant.

Lacrosse is a modern sport with deep roots in Native American cultures throughout North America. “[Today] It is the fastest growing sport in America,” explains Michelle Danforth (Oneida), co-producer of the new documentary film Sacred Stick. The documentary explains the origins of Lacrosse within Native American cultures; the spiritual background of the game, as well as stories from early European contact with the game.

In 1935, while the country was deep in the depression, a group of Oneidas in Wisconsin took advantage of a federal writing program designed to employ Americans and offer economic relief.

When Michelle Danforth (Oneida) set out to begin her career, creating films was a distant aspiration. After graduating with an MBA focused on accounting, Danforth began working at Options for Independent Living, a non-profit organization that helps people with disabilities. Although she enjoyed marketing and finance, there was always a lingering interest in producing and creating films.

 
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