Length: 15 min.
Kindegarten, Kindergarten, 1, 2, 3, 4
Berenstain Bears Lakota
The Lakota Berenstain Bears Project is a joint venture of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the Lakota Language Consortium, with the goal of bringing the Lakota language to family television sets across all Lakota-speaking communities in North and South Dakota, and well beyond.
Produced and distributed with the permission of Berenstain Enterprises, Inc., Nelvana Limited and PBS (Public Broadcasting System), this 20-episode Lakota language edition of the Berenstain Bears is a first of its kind – the first Native American language cartoon series EVER.
Voices of the characters are all from the Lakota-speaking Standing Rock, Cheyenne River, Pine Ridge, and Rosebud communities of North and South Dakota, and reflect all local dialects of the language.
Equally as important, the original Berenstain Bears series lines up very well to Lakota values, which was very important in the making of this series. Lakota values such as bravery, respect, generosity, and fortitude all play significant roles throughout the 20-episode series. Lots of different family interactions reflecting day-to-day life, as well as many idiomatic expressions help keep the langauge use real and relevant in every episode.
The “Matȟó Waúŋšila Thiwáhe” television series will begin airing on North and South Dakota Public Broadcasting stations starting in September of 2011. The individual episodes will be posted on this companion website in the order that they appear on television. For a full schedule of episodes, click here.
All 20 episodes will be available on a limited edition DVD, complete with a 12-page episode guide for teachers, parents, and students alike – available in late Fall 2011.
We hope you enjoy this cartoon series and find it helpful in keeping the Lakota language alive in your household and community. It is such a crucial cultural treasure that should never be lost due to lack of use.
Welcome and enjoy “Matȟó Waúŋšila Thiwáhe” – the Lakota Berenstain Bears.
1. Trouble At School: Owáyawa Ektá Wóškiške - Brother has been kept home from school for a few days with the flu and neglects to do the schoolwork that Sister delivered from his teacher. As a result, Brother’s next math test mark is zero and he doesn’t know how to break the bad news to Mama and Papa. He turns to Gramps and Gran for help and learns that getting a problem out in the open, goes a long way toward solving it.
2. Visit the Dentist: Hiáphiye Kiŋ - When Sister gets her first loose tooth, Brother teases her that the dentist will extract it with a big yanking tool. After Sister watches Brother get a cavity filled, she discovers that her dentist is a very gentle fellow and he assures her that most baby teeth don’t need yanking. They fall out all on their own.
3. Mighty Milton: Wóšikšičeka Waŋ Iglúwičakȟe - When a new cub at school is teased by Too-Tall and the gang for his lack of sporting ability, Brother takes it upon himself to help his new friend renew his self-esteem by finding value in the things he can do well.
4. Mama’s New Job: Húŋkupi Kiŋ Wówaši Ečhúŋ - When Mama decides to open her own quilt shop, Papa and the cubs are convinced they won’t be able to cope around the house without her. However it’s only when they stop thinking about themselves and start thinking about supporting Mama and her new endeavour do Papa and the cubs band together to share the load and make it work.
5. Go To School: Wayáwapi - Too-Tall and the gang amuse themselves at Sister’s expense by warning her how hard third grade will be and how strict Teacher Jane is. Brother tries unsuccessfully to convince Sis not to worry. Mama reminisces about Sister starting kindergarten and reflects on how her daughter’s feelings back then were exactly the same. Sure enough, when Sister starts grade three she enjoys the new experience just like she did when she started kindergarten.
6. A Week at Grandma’s: Tȟokȟáŋl Thiíyuŋkapi - When Mama and Papa go off on a second honeymoon, Brother and Sister are certain they’re in for the most boring time of their lives spending an entire week with their grandparents. However the cubs’ preconception that old people are boring does a complete turnaround as they end up having an even better time than their parents – thanks to their anything but boring grandparents.
7. Trouble With Pets: Šuŋȟpála Waŋ Wóšil Káǧe - Brother and Sister adopt one of Farmer Ben’s new puppies and soon discover that having a pet is a big responsibility. When the two pet owners leave to play with friends, the puppy stays behind and destroys the livingroom. As a result, the puppy is banished to the backyard. Brother and Sister apologise for neglecting their duties and Mama and Papa decide to give the cubs and the puppy a second chance.
8. The Sitter: Hokší-Awáŋyaŋke Kiŋ - Brother and Sister do some damage in Mrs. Grizzle’s flowerbed while retrieving their baseball. Instead of stepping forward to apologize, the cubs get nervous and run home. As fate would have it, Mama arranges for Mrs. Grizzle to babysit the cubs that very night. Brother and Sister anticipate a very stern talking to, but are surprised by Mrs. Grizzle’s kindhearted manner.
9. Too Much TV: Wičhítenaškaŋškaŋ Kiŋ Etáŋhaŋ Iglúȟlayapi - When Mama puts a ban on television watching for one whole week, the cubs initially go into hysterics. As the week unfolds, Brother, Sister and Papa too, find that their interests extend well beyond the television set. They grow to realize just how entertaining the great outdoors and other “simple” pleasures can be.
10. Trick or Treat: Itóǧiŋ Kitȟúŋpi - Brother and Sister plan to avoid Widder Jones’ house when they go trick or treating because neighbourhood lore has it that she’s a witch. Mama knows Widder Jones personally and tells the cubs what a sweet person she is. When the evening is over the cubs agree with Mama. They enjoyed visiting Widder Jones more than anyone else that Halloween.
11. Trouble With Money: Mázaska Kamnápi na Sáŋm Iyéič’iyapi - When Mama and Papa refuse to buy Brother and Sister trendy overly expensive sport shirts, the cubs decide to earn the money themselves. However the cubs go overboard and get so caught up in everything from lemonade stands to dog walking services that they leave themselves no time for their friends. It’s only when they finally reach their goal that Brother and Sister realize the price tag has turned out to a lot bigger than they thought. Their blind pursuit of material things has cost them their friends.
12. Double Dare: Sémni Eyá Wapáǧeyapi - Brother displays some real moxie when he attempts to get back Sister’s skipping rope from Too-Tall and his mischievous gang. Too-Tall thinks Brother has what it takes to join his gang. After Brother becomes a member he’s required to follow the leader…and that means trespassing on Farmer Ben’s property to swipe watermelons. Brother is the only one caught and Farmer Ben has a heart to heart talk with him about how to deal with peer pressure.
13. Out For the Team: Tȟab’ápȟa Akíčhiyapi - Brother and Sister are good baseball players and both sign up to try out for the Bear Country Cardinals. The problem is, there’s only one position left on the team. Worried about the humiliating possibility of losing to his talented kid sister, Brother backs out of the competition. Sister has some encouraging words for Brother which inspire him to stick with it. The two cubs practice for the big tryout together.
14. Count Their Blessings: Wóyawašte Kiŋ Glawápi - Brother and Sister often complain that their friends have more things than they do. Mama and Papa tell them they should be thankful for all the things they do have. When a big thunderstorm rages outside and the power goes out, the cubs are reminded of how fortunate they are to have loving parents and a cozy home to live in. It’s a good time to count their blessings.
15. Slumber Party: Thiíyuŋg Wičhákičhopi - Ensured by Sister that she knows the meaning of responsibility, Mama and Papa allow her to go to a sleep over at Lizzy’s house. However Mama and Papa are totally unaware that the Bruins have gone out and left a babysitter in charge. When practically every cub in town shows up at the party it gets so out of hand that when the Bruins return they call all the parents to come and take their cubs home. Although Mama and Papa agree that Sister is partially to blame, they also realize that if they had been a little more responsible themselves, they would have found out about the baby sitter early enough to nip it in the bud.
16. Homework Hassle: Wóuŋspe Wówaši - Brother complains that he’s given too much homework and that’s why he has fallen so far behind at school. Papa blames it on his highly distractive study environment and until Brother gets caught up, there’ll be no television, video games, loud music or chatting on the phone. When Brother decides to do a little homework every night, he finds it’s much easier to stay on top of his workload.
17. The Talent Show: Wówayuphike Kpazópi - Convinced that he doesn’t have any talent to offer for the upcoming school talent show, Brother is recruited to be the talent scout. Guided by Teacher Bob’s conviction that everyone has talent, Brother helps the other cubs discover their own special talents, and in so doing, discovers he also has a talent just as Teacher Bob suspected – a talent for finding talent.
18. The Haunted Lighthouse: Pȟetížaŋžaŋ Othí Waŋ Naǧítȟuŋ Kiŋ - When the Bear Family vacations in an old lighthouse rendered obsolete by modern technology, they discover that it’s rumoured to be haunted. Although the cubs encounter mysterious sights and sounds, they’re anything but spooked. In fact Brother and Sister actively pursue the clues to the point where they not only reveal the ’ghost’ but come up with a way to give new life to the old lighthouse as well as the old lighthouse keeper.
19. The Birthday Boy: Tȟúŋpi Aŋpétu Kiŋ - With Mama and Papa too busy setting up Brother’s birthday party, Sister reluctantly decides to do her ‘Tell Us About A Family Member’ school assignment on Brother. However videotaping him for her project not only allows her to see a side of him she never saw before, it helps her realize just how much her big brother really means to her. Ultimately not only is Sister’s Birthday Boy video an A+ project, it also doubles as Brother’s best birthday gift ever.
20. The Green Eyed Monster: Wónawizi - When Brother gets a brand new three speed racer, Sister’s envious feelings are personified in her dreams by a little green version of herself. This Green Eyed Monster convinces Sister to sneak brother’s new bike out for a ride but when she does, Sister realizes too late that it’s too big for her and she can’t control it. Fortunately Brother and Papa rescue Sister before Brother’s bike can crash, then together they help chase the Green Eyed Monster away by jazzing up Brother’s old bike and giving it to Sister.
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