News

Good Meat, a look at one man’s struggle to maintain a traditional Native diet on a modern Reservation, comes to public television in March 2011

February 8, 2011 Contact: Jessica Kinser
(402) 472-8607, jkinser2@unl.edu

For Immediate Release:

Good Meat, a look at one man’s struggle to maintain a traditional Native diet
on a modern Reservation, comes to public television in March 2011

Native American Public Telecommunications, Inc. (NAPT) proudly announces the release of a new documentary that shows the challenges of overcoming Type II Diabetes and poor diet amidst the poverty of the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.

Good Meat captures the real-time, personal weight loss battle of one Oglala Lakota man, Beau LeBeau. Once a star athlete in his community, he struggles to shed the pounds from his 333-pound frame in an unsupportive environment.

“The scale of obesity among Native Americans is epidemic. I would say that over 50-percent of my Lakota patients have diabetes already. Life expectancy on our Reservation in South Dakota is around the age of 50, whereas nationally it’s around 70 to 80-years-old,” commented Kevin Weiland, M.D., LeBeau’s physician.

After losing his mother in an untimely death from cancer and diabetes, LeBeau seeks wellness supervision and motivation from primary care physician Dr. Weiland and nutritionist Kibbe Conti (Oglala Lakota). Together, they build a routine exercise plan and diet that is centered around bison (buffalo)—a traditional indigenous food high in protein and low in fat. Surrounded by the consequences of the disease, LeBeau begins to also adopt other Native foods such as Hidatsa corn, chokecherries, prairie turnips and tea. Despite the Oglala Lakota Tribe having wild herds of buffalo, LeBeau must drive long distances to purchase the bison, fresh fruits and vegetables that he can afford due to the lack of means of expanding the herds to provide food for the Tribe on the modern Reservation.

“Imagine living in the middle of a deadly epidemic, like smallpox or measles, that ravages a community, but the people have become so accustomed to its presence among them that it is as if people stop paying attention to the matter. That’s the situation I faced living next to the Lakota Nation at Pine Ridge. You can see the epidemic, but no one ever quantified it, or put a face to it,” stated Sam Hurst, writer and director of Good Meat.

NAPT invites you to explore the culture of the modern Reservation by following LeBeau on his weight loss journey. While he sheds dozens of pounds almost immediately, he quickly realizes the difficulty of eating healthy in a dysfunctional food economy that makes his health problems seem almost inevitable—particularly with the naysayers on the Reservation about his new lifestyle. This tension between LeBeau’s aspirations and real-world limitations make Good Meat a compelling and though-provoking documentary of today’s health issues that plague many rural areas nationwide.

About NAPT
Native American Public Telecommunications, Inc. (NAPT), a non-profit 501(c)(3) which receives major funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, shares Native stories with the world through support of the creation, promotion and distribution of Native media. Founded in 1977, through various media—public television, public radio and the Internet—NAPT brings awareness of Indian and Alaska Native issues. NAPT operates AIROS Audio, offering 24/7 downloadable podcasts with Native filmmakers, musicians and Tribal leaders. VisionMaker is the premier source for quality Native American educational and home videos. All aspects of our programs encourage the involvement of young people to learn more about careers in the media—to be the next generation of storytellers. NAPT is located at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. NAPT offers student employment, internships and fellowships. Reaching the general public and the global market is the ultimate goal for the dissemination of Native-produced media.

Additional Information Regarding Good Meat:

Run time: 56:46

Broadcast feed dates/times:
NOLA Code: GDMT 00 K1
Release/Feed Date: Saturday, March 26, 2011, at 1900-2000ET/HD04;
National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA)

Credits: Good Meat is a Sam Hurst film and was co-produced by Native American Public Telecommunications, Inc. (NAPT) and NET Television.

Funding for Good Meat: Major funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Additional funding provided by the National Buffalo Foundation and the Black Hills Surgery Center.

Press Kit available online at: http://nativetelecom.org/good_meat

Additional Resources: Lesson plans for grades 7-higher education and a post-viewing discussion guide will be available for download from visionmaker.org in Spring 2011.

About the Crew:

Larry Pourier (Oglala Lakota), Producer & Co-Creator
Pourier has been a Producer and Assistant Director on several feature films, including Crazy Horse, Skins, SkinWalkers, New World, and Lakota Woman. His documentary productions include: Spiral of Fire (PBS), and Lewis and Clark (National Geographic). Pourier is a resident of the Thunder Valley Community on the Pine Ridge Reservation where he is a Sun Dancer and Pipe Carrier.

Sam Hurst, Executive Producer, Writer & Director
Hurst is an experienced television journalist and documentary moviemaker, whose credits include The Coming Plague (TBS/CNN), for which he won a Cable Ace Award for “Best Documentary Writing,” and Falconer’s Memoir and Hooked, for South Dakota Public Broadcasting. As a producer for KCBS Television in Los Angeles, Calif., Hurst has won five L.A.-Area Emmy® Awards for his coverage of Vietnam and Central America. As a national producer for NBC News, Hurst was nominated for a national Emmy® for his eight-part series on the emergence of global environmental threats. He was a 1993 Nieman Fellow in Journalism at Harvard University, during which he studied evolutionary biology.

Hurst owned and operated a buffalo ranch in the Badlands of South Dakota on the border of the Pine Ridge Reservation for 16 years. He lives with his wife, Denise DuBroy, in Rapid City, S.D., and writes a Sunday column for the Rapid
City Journal.

Distributed by: VisionMaker Video, a service of NAPT
1800 N. 33rd Street; Lincoln, NE 68503
visionmaker.org | 1-877-868-2250

Educational Version Available March 26, 2011; retail price $225.00
Home Version Available March 26, 2011; retail price $29.95