Solution Overview & Team Lead Details

Our Organization

Angel De Cora Museum & Research Center

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What is the name of your solution?

Wanącēre - Short Film

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Provide a one-line summary of your solution.

An Indigenous led short film, a story told about a student who struggles with his cultural identity. It is based on Hōcąk tribal traditions.

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Film your elevator pitch.

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What specific problem are you solving?

Today the Winnebago community is facing barriers that cause the loss of our traditional cultural identity, language, and way of life. In many indigenous communities across the United States, the elders are being lost and knowledge holders are withholding cultural teachings. 

This short film identifies and showcases those issues through narrative storytelling, utilizing filmmaking as it's artistic medium. Many of the teachings within the film are traditional teachings of the Winnebago tribe of Nebraska

The cast and crew all come from the Winnebago reservation, a small town that focuses primarily on sports and have little opportunities to offer to its artists and creatives. Telling this story, I hope it inspires more community members to push towards contemporary storytelling as a career path, the director hopes it will open the eyes of other indigenous filmmakers to provide meaningful storytelling and utilize cultural teachings in their film work. 

Indigenous people have always been storytellers, passing down stories from generation to generation using oral tradition. In modern times, we have technology to preserve these stories through time and time again. Film has always been a way to "change a generation", but doing so in an effective way we can change the stereotypes of Indigenous people. 

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What is your solution?

My solution is a short film, it will utilize traditional and cultural teachings of the Winnebago tribe of Nebraska. The story is about a high school student who struggles with his cultural identity. After the death of his uncle, he must reconnect back to his cultural roots to gain the respect that he wants from his peers. The story identifies some of the social issues that cause a tribal member to become hesitant about relearning their cultural way of life and language. 

Telling this story, I hope it empowers community members to honor their ancestors for their sacrifices by re-learning their Hōcąk language and ways. 

The pre-production process includes; coordinating script readings with actors, rehearsals, budget management, Production includes; filming, sound recording, and lighting. Post-Production includes; video editing, sound editing, film festival entries.

All technology would be utilizing camera, sound, lighting, and software editing equipment. 

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Strong preference will be given to Native-led solutions that directly benefit and are located within the Indigenous communities. Which community(s) does your solution benefit? In what ways will your solution benefit this community?

The solution will benefit the Winnebago tribal community directly. This project will include youth, adult, and elder involvement within all aspects of the film, including; language and cultural consulting, and film production crew.

In a cultural aspect, our team has direct contact with many Winnebago tribal members within the community, we understand the importance of cultural revitalization and in addressing their needs are simply having tough discussions with our tribal members who struggle with their cultural identity. Asking them, what made them feel uncomfortable with that issue. We offer them guidance and support in reconnecting, and we empower them to wear their traditional clothing because it is something to be proud of. 

In a technical aspect; we are engaging our own community members, who many are first time actors. It may inspire those who are interested in film production or acting to push through on those goals as a career path. The solution will address their needs because it shows what we as a community need to work on to help preserve our Hōcąk way of life, and so our language don't become extinct.  

What the project aims to do is in identifying some of the barriers that hold community members back from learning their language, etc. it would help in working on what those issues are. Example: (1) elder's not speaking Hōcąk language due to boarding school era. (2) Being treated differently because you don't practice cultural ways. (3) Living in the city all one's life.

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How are you and your team well-positioned to deliver this solution?

I believe that we are the best team to deliver this project. At the Angel De Cora Museum and Research Center it is our goal and mission to preserve our history, stories, sacred lands, etc. Also to revitalize some of the teachings and language that we had lost due to the historical trauma of the past. 

I feel as a filmmaker who comes from the Winnebago reservation it has been my mission to tell meaningful stories that come from my tribe in regards to teachings, language, myths/oral tradition. Prior to working at the museum, I knew very little about my culture. But it has inspired me to reconnect back to that way of life, and I even wear more traditional clothing. 

We are engaging the community by having discussions between the staff and actors to help identify their own experiences in the community when it comes to what it means to be Hōcąk. In having these discussions, teachings continue to get passed around again and again. 

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Where our solution team is headquartered or located:

Winnebago, NE, USA
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Our solution's stage of development:

Pilot
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How many people does your solution currently serve?

N/A

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Why are you applying to Solve?

The Angel De Cora Museum and Research Center is a non-profit organization and receives grant funding to keep the day to day operations running. Although it is a small museum, there are big hopes for the future in helping revitalize a lot of the cultural way of life. 

We would really love the chance to pay the cast and crew for their time. Although it is a cultural teaching to volunteer your time to your community, we hope to be able to pay actors and crew members. Also equipment costs, wardrobe, props, and location fees. 

At the Angel De Cora Museum and Research Center we strive to work closely with our community members. Finding new and innovative ways to revitalize and preserve our culture, in identifying issues we see that hold our tribal members back from reconnecting back to their cultural way of life. 

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In which of the following areas do you most need partners or support?

  • Human Capital (e.g. sourcing talent, board development, etc.)
  • Financial (e.g. improving accounting practices, pitching to investors)
  • Public Relations (e.g. branding/marketing strategy, social and global media)
  • Technology (e.g. software or hardware, web development/design, data analysis, etc.)
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Who is the Team Lead for your solution?

Jordana R. Bass

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Please indicate the tribal affiliation of your Team Lead.

Winnebago tribe

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Is the Team Lead a resident of the United States?

Yes

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Which dimension of the Challenge does your solution most closely address?

Drive positive outcomes for Native learners of any or all ages while supporting culturally grounded educational opportunities on and/or off reservations.

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More About Your Solution

What makes your solution innovative?

I believe that it is a new way of approaching storytelling because film is a contemporary way to tell stories compared to what the old way of life was, in using oral tradition. Instead of just "talking" about the issues, we are establishing a narrative. 

One of the first Indigenous actors was Lillian St. Cyr, who grew up on the Winnebago reservation. As a film student, I've learned that stereotypes of Indigenous people came from the silent film era. I believe that we can change those stereotypes by telling and giving accurate representation of our Winnebago tribal people. 

I believe that one of the issues are that there aren't many indigenous told films. My thought is because indigenous filmmaker's aren't always given the opportunity, and funding is an issue. I believe that if given the opportunity to receive financial assistance, is it would open a wide range of Winnebago tribal members that are interested in taking the arts seriously in their educational and career goals. 

Growing up on the reservation, I was rarely exposed to the arts and technology because sports were super important in the Winnebago community. I feel like if I had been exposed to film work in high school, I may have found my passion sooner. Rather than falling off track, and going down the path I was leading towards. My goal is to open the eyes to our youth to the possibilities. 

So with that being said, I feel like if given the opportunity to receive this grant, it would catch interest from those within my community. We would continue to gain interest, and give the opportunity for creatives to find a new passion.
















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What are your impact goals for the next year and the next five years, and how will you achieve them?

Impact goals for this project is that we will create more opportunities for Winnebago community members to expand their knowledge and experience in film production and/or acting. After the project is complete, we hope to inspire more youth to involve themselves in this line of work (acting, film production, screenwriting).

We plan to gain more interest by putting out this first film Wanacere. With this project it will plant a seed for all those interested in film production/acting. One film down, how many more can we drive interest towards?

By telling a meaningful and empowering story, we hope that it will teach others about the value in relearning your cultural way of life. We will put forth the effort in identifying indigenous social issues, and hoping to inspire others to look within themselves to relearn their cultural ways, or heal from the issues we discuss within our stories. 

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How are you measuring your progress toward your impact goals?

For now, we have about 9 total actors from our small community. As well as 4 production crew members. With this project, we are considering it our "show card" film and will be our production crews first film on the reservation. It will help us gain interest within the community. In measuring the progress, we will keep count of how much more interest we gain when we produce our next film. 

Within our community we have 2 cultural programs, the Angel De Cora Museum and HoChunk Renaissance Language program. Both programs hold classes (traditional clothing, jewelry, language, etc.) We will be keeping count of how much participants become involved in these programs.

We have direct access to the cultural programs. They host language classes, as well as arts & crafts classes. We plan to keep data of how many tribal members attend, we plan to keep track on the attendance, and if the classes grow. This will show us that there are more interest in re-learning these important teachings. 

Lastly our crew plans to begin hosting training courses for our Winnebago tribal members, who would like to learn film production. We will also keep data of how many youth or other tribal members attend.  

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What is your theory of change?

I believe that our solution will have an impact to the problem within our community. Speaking from experience, it is tough feeling comfortable with not really knowing who you are as a Winnebago person. Being around others who have more traditional knowledge, they may act superior. But what they are truly doing is hurting their own, you should be encouraging others and teaching them Winnebago ways. Rather than belittling them. 

The link below discusses the issue of lateral oppression and how it affects tribal communities today. https://www.nwac.ca/wp-content...


We don't offer many opportunities for creatives to really get together to work on projects, I know that it would be beneficial for our little community because if we can get our youth involved in these projects it could create a whole new avenue for them to pursue upon graduating from high school. It is something fun, it is something new, it is something great for our community to get together and provide entertainment for our tribal members. To see their aunties, uncles, brothers, sisters, mothers, and grandmothers on acting on film would be inspiring.

I know that growing up, I had not been exposed to this line of work. Instead I was exposed to childhood issues that many indigenous communities face, going through this experience has led me down a path that took me off track in finding my purpose. I feel that if our youth had the opportunities, it would help guide them to finding their purpose and their passion. Finding your passion is a lot easier when you have been exposed to it a lot sooner. 

The link below is an article about children and why it's important for them to be exposed to their passions early on in their development stage. As we know, many indigenous communities have issues within the home that can cause friction in the child's life. Dealing with stress early on, that can be an issue that can affect the child later on in life. https://ewotopia.com/childrens...

With our Solver Team, we have made it our goal to tell meaningful stories inspired from indigenous culture. In doing so, we are reteaching and preserving these teachings for years to come through digital film. 

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Describe the core technology that powers your solution.

The technology that we will be utilizing within this solution is predominantly: - camera equipment, sound/lighting equipment, camera image stabilizers, and the adobe creative suites (editing software.


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Which of the following categories best describes your solution?

A new business model or process that relies on technology to be successful

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Please select the technologies currently used in your solution:

  • Ancestral Technology & Practices
  • Audiovisual Media
  • Software and Mobile Applications
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Which of the UN Sustainable Development Goals does your solution address?

  • 3. Good Health and Well-being
  • 4. Quality Education
  • 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • 12. Responsible Consumption and Production
  • 15. Life on Land
  • 16. Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions
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In which countries do you currently operate?

  • United States
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In which countries will you be operating within the next year?

  • United States
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In which states do you currently operate?

  • Nebraska
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Your Team

What type of organization is your solution team?

Nonprofit

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How many people work on your solution team?

6

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How long have you been working on your solution?

6 months

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What is your approach to incorporating diversity, equity, and inclusivity into your work?

We have a diverse group of individuals, all coming from the Winnebago tribal community. Men and women from ages 25 - 35, I consider myself Two-Spirit which is apart of the LGBTQ community. 

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Your Business Model & Funding

What is your business model?

The Angel De Cora Museum & Research Center is a non-profit organization. At this moment, we provide more impact than revenue. We are a grant funded organization, and many of the day to day operations and activities are funded also through donations. 

We offer arts and crafts classes where tribal members have the opportunity to craft their own hocak style day dresses/ribbon shirts, moccasins, otter hats, beading jewelry, and many other classes. The services we provide for our community gives the chance for our tribal members to learn step-by-step instructions on how to cfaft their traditional clothing. We are also a history museum, so artifacts, and recorded stories are kept in our archives.

It is important for us to provide those chances for the Winnebago community, because if we lost our language, we lose our stories, we lose our way of life, we lose who we are as Indigenous people. 

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Do you primarily provide products or services directly to individuals, to other organizations, or to the government?

Individual consumers or stakeholders (B2C)
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What is your plan for becoming financially sustainable?

Our plan is to continue to raise funding through donation based services. As a filmmaker, it is my job to pitch the film to investors. I plan to pitch the idea to hopefully gain interest in potential investors, including the Winnebago tribal council as well as the Ho-Chunk, Inc. Community Impact and Engagement team (which is our tribal corporation on the reservation). We will continue to fill out grants, as well as release an Indigogo campaign, and GoFundMe page.

As an independent filmmaker, it is difficult to gain funding from outside sources. So this is our current plan of action. 

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Share some examples of how your plan to achieve financial sustainability has been successful so far.

We are in the beginning phase of funding this project. It has been in the works for quite sometime, the script is finished, the cast and crew are ready to begin. However we are pursuing funding for the film equipment. This will be our first grant opportunity that we are applying for. :) 

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Solution Team

 
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