LINCOLN, NEBRASKA — A new electronic book about Standing Bear is available at no cost for the iPad. A partnership between Vision Maker Media and the Nebraska Educational Telecommunications (NET), the project was funded by the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community in Prior Lake, Minn., and Humanities Nebraska.
The 71-page book features audio and video segments from the NET/Vision Maker Media award-winning PBS documentary, Standing Bear’s Footsteps, as well as new material. The eBook is divided into two sections–the first part is designed for general readers, and the second part is for educators who are interested in using for the classroom.
The documentary, produced by Christine Lesiak and associate producer Princella Parker (Omaha), premiered in 2012 on PBS. In 1877, the Ponca people were exiled from their Nebraska homeland to Indian Territory in present-day Oklahoma. To honor his dying son’s last wish to be buried in his homeland, Standing Bear set off on a grueling, 600-mile journey home. Captured en-route, Standing Bear sued a famous U.S. army general for his freedom–choosing to fight injustice not with weapons, but with words. The Chief stood before the court to prove that an Indian was a person under the law. The story quickly made newspaper headlines–attracting powerful allies, as well as enemies.
Melanie Eirich, NET’s executive web producer, said that this project served as a pilot for working with the Nebraska Department of Education’s eBooks Project. Scott Leigh, NET’s interactive and educational media senior producer, led the development of the eBook. Additionally, with funds from Humanities Nebraska, Vision Maker Media was able to hire a writing team for the eBook and present it to a focus group of teachers.
Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve (Rosebud Sioux)–author of Standing Bear of the Ponca, published by the University of Nebraska Press–Cindy Renner, and Larry Wright (Northern Ponca) were on the development committee. Joseph Starita–author of I Am a Man: Chief Standing Bear’s Journey for Justice, published by St. Martin’s Press–served as a humanities scholar on the project.
The eBook is available for download from the iTunes® Store. Simply click on this link, http://bit.ly/SBFeBook, to be directed to the page, or search in your iTunes® application for “Standing Bear’s Footsteps: The Meaning of Home” under the “Books>History” category.