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Press Releases

Wednesday, November 18 at 10:30 p.m. – Words on the Wind

(Rochester, NY) In honor of Native American Heritage Month, WXXI is pleased to present Morning Light Films’ Words on the Wind, a half-hour documentary film that shares insight into the rhythms of Mother Earth, native wisdom and spirituality. Featuring the book, “Blood of Our Earth,” written by Ponca author Dan Jones, the film combines readings of contemporary Native American poetry with original music, scenes of tribal lands and sounds from the natural world. Words on the Wind premieres on Wednesday, November 18 at 10:30 p.m. on WXXI-TV (DT21.1/cable1011/cable11), and on PBS stations across the country.

Native Americans have long considered themselves caretakers of the earth. This reverence for, and deep sense of responsibility to, the natural world and all its creatures is clearly evident in the eloquent verses penned by native poets. Words of the Wind features the work of Dan Jones, whose Ponca tribal name is Sa Su Weh. His poetry touches on the rhythms of the planet, Native wisdom and spirituality, and the relationship between man and nature.

Jones’ poems featured in the program include: Remember Your Ways, Gentle Warrior, Survival, Beautiful Dreamer’s Song, The Feather, When We Die, Mornings Win, The Dream, and America. In addition to readings, Jones speaks of the motive and intent behind his work, tribal history, ancient wisdom and more.

Jones is currently Vice Chairman of the Oklahoma Indian Affairs Commission and the former Chairman of the Ponca Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma. Blood of Our Earth, his first book of poetry, was published in 2005 by University of New Mexico Press. Jones' television productions include producing The World of American Indian Dance, which premiered on NBC in 2003. In 1993 he received the Muse Award from the Association of American Museums for a work produced by the new Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian.

The visual elements that accompany each of Jones’ poems are intended to interpret his message and each piece of music was carefully selected or composed to support the spoken word. The sounds of wind, water, and nature's creatures also add to the dramatic interpretation. The full effect of these combined elements delivers a powerful multi-media experience. Shot in a combination of motion picture film and digital video, the program was filmed in many locations around the United States, including Oklahoma, Wyoming, Florida, New York and New Jersey.

Words on the Wind is produced by Lou Angora and directed by Thom Marini of Morning Light Films. Headquartered in Rochester, New York, Morning Light Films is a film and video production company with broad experience in corporate marketing & training, public affairs presentations, television commercials, and documentary and feature film production. To learn more about Morning Light Films, visit (morninglightfilms.com).

Words on the Wind is presented by WXXI Public Broadcasting and distributed by American Public Television. This program is part of a series that will feature prominent native authors from tribes around North America.

Photo Credit: Library of Congress



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