Premiering On PBS: Young Lakota

by Shannon Iggy


“I don’t want white men telling me what to do. Keep your white hands off my brown body,” Cecelia Fire Thunder declares.

Young Lakota follows three young adults as their Oglala Lakota community is caught in a divisive political debate over abortion. Sunny Clifford has moved back to the reservation to reconnect with her Lakota roots and make a difference in her community. She joins her twin sister, Serena, in hopes of improving life on the reservation. Their neighbor, Brandon Ferguson, is also eager for change. Brandon and Serena are hoping to break the cycle of poverty and abuse for their young children.

In 2006, South Dakota Governor Mike Rounds signed a bill effectively banning the termination of pregnancies, except in cases where the mother’s life was at risk. The law offers no exceptions for cases of rape or incest. Cecelia Fire Thunder, the tribe’s first female president, threatened to build a women’s clinic on the reservation that would perform abortions. What ensues is a fierce political battle that entwines cultural identity, economic status, and political ideology. The fallout challenges the bonds of these three friendships and the strength of one community.

Young Lakota premieres during Native America Heritage Month Monday, November 25, 2013 at 10PM ET on PBS. Check local listings.

Image via ITVS

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