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Thank you for your interest in Simply Smiles! We invite you to explore our projects in Oaxaca, Mexico and on the Cheyenne River Reservation, as well as volunteer opportunities in these locations.

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18 Reynolds St.
East Norwalk, CT

Dedicated to building bright futures for impoverished children, their families, and their communities.

La Plant Oral History

The La Plant Oral History Project 

The following videos are a series of interviews of community members of La Plant telling the story of their history, culture, and struggles.

All interviews were conducted from 2014 to 2015 in the town of La Plant on the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Reservation, located within South Dakota.

episode one: We are Lakota

In this episode the people of La Plant focus on the sacred rituals and traditions. Their actions in praying and healing provide a faith that helps them worship what they are thankful for. for the people, the language of Lakota has a deeper meaning in a sense of worth and accomplishment.

As Lakota, we the people of La Plant believe that our very identities in daily life are at all times intertwined with the sacred.

episode two: Politics

In this episode the people of La Plant remember the red power movement that awakened many people spiritually, politically, and culturally. They explain the historically long frustrating relationship with the government, and the concept of all being equal along with civil as a foundation that can truly grow. 

I did not know I had a law against my religion.
— Ford Hill, Tribal Elder

episode three: Early memories

In this episode the people of La Plant reflect on their early life challenges and family history.  Life has changed drastically over the years, while people try to focus on improving for the future. 

I was born in 1934...this was during the dust bowl era, they call it. But I was born in a log cabin, 8 miles north of La Plant. This was along the virgin that time, they’d tell me that water was very scarce.
— Evelyn Veaux, Tribal Elder

episode four: American Indian boarding schools

In this episode the people of La Plant recall the times of the boarding schools that forced them to dramatically change their lives without warning. The education provided by the boarding schools brought together two culturally opposite worlds, the Lakota and the "white world". 

As soon as they got there, they had to cut their hair. And then they were drenched in kerosene to get rid of the lice they said they mother said she never did have lice.
— Elizabeth "Libby" Duchenaux

episode five: wakanyeja: "sacred little ones"

In this episode the people of La Plant describe the beautiful future they wish to instill in their children and future generations. By following the Lakota traditions, along with the creation of the chief's ride it shows how many people on the reservation consider themselves as one.

The purpose of the chief’s ride is to help the community, the children, and the regain the culture...using the horse as a means to teach the kids because that’s how their fore fathers traveled across this country.
— Elliotte Little Bear

  In partnership with the College of Arts and Sciences at Fairfield University, and the community members of La Plant who

long to preserve the Lakota culture.