Changing The Stereotype

from a 2007 documentary that aired on PBS

What does a family have to endure to create a future for itself? “Standing Silent Nation,” airing on PBS’s P.O.V. series on July 3, 2007, features Alex White Plume and his Lakota family, who planted industrial hemp on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota after other crops had failed. They put their hopes for a sustainable economy in hemp’s hardiness and a booming worldwide demand for its many products, from clothing to food. Although growing hemp, a relative of marijuana, was banned in the U.S., Alex believed that tribal sovereignty, along with hemp’s non-psychoactive properties, would protect him. But when federal agents raided the White Plumes’ fields, the Lakota Nation was swept into a Byzantine struggle over tribal sovereignty, economic rights and common sense. Find out more at

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