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Lakota Berenstain Bears Ready For Launch


The Compassionate Bear Family is coming to your house! They make a grand entry through South Dakota Public Broadcasting and Prairie Public television on Sunday, September 11 at 9 am. 

Matȟó Waúŋšila Thiwáhe, or “The Compassionate Bear Family,” is the Lakota language name for the Berenstain Bears, whom you have seen on PBS and in storybooks for the past four decades.  You may have also followed them on their Facebook page for the past year, as recording progressed in Bismarck, ND.

Finally at the 42nd Annual United Tribes Powwow in Bismarck, ND you can participate in events launching this historic television show on the weekend of the premiere.  The Tribal Leaders’ Summit Banquet on the evening of September 7 will enjoy a special preview screening.  Dancers costumed as the Bears family will participate in the Powwow’s September 8 Grand Entry, and an honoring ceremony will take place to recognize the project’s developers and supporters.

More preview screenings will be played at the Powwow’s Children’s Day activities on September 9. 

Get the latest updates on the premiere and broadcast schedule from the new Maȟtó Waúŋšila Thiwáhe website.  Bookmark it now!

A more extensive launch is a series of events for parents and teachers with Lakota language students around showings of the episodes in Standing Rock schools, throughout September.

Beginning September 11, two episodes per week of the Maȟtó Waúŋšila Thiwáhe will broadcast on SDPB’s Digital 3 channel and Prairie Public’s Digital 4 channel every Sunday morning at 9 am through November.  Local access stations KOLC and REZ IPTV in Eagle Butte will then broadcast the series to viewers on Pine Ridge and Cheyenne River Reservations, respectively.

Other showings will be presented at two Rapid City, South Dakota events this fall:  the Lakota-Dakota Language Summit, November 17-18, and the Lakota Nation Invitational in December.

A DVD of the Matȟó Waúŋšila Thiwáhe series will be released in November. The User’s Guide booklet is being created with support from the First Nations Development Institute/Native Youth and Culture Fund, based in Longmont, CO.  The User’s Guide will have a more in-depth online supplement, for classroom use and advanced individual Lakota language study.

Other support for the project has come from the North Dakota Indian Affairs Commission.

If you can’t get SDPB, Prairie Public, KOLC or IPTV on your TV, will stream episodes and have the User’s Guide online supplement available for download.

Subscribe to the LLC YouTube Channel page, too– a second newly updated Matȟó Waúŋšila Thiwáhe trailer should be posted soon.


The website was developed courtesy of Mitch Dowell and Branding Experiences. Wóphila Tȟánka!


Revitalizing Lakota, One Child at a Time
©2009 Lakota Language Consortium Inc.