Saksanica documentary explores the art and tradition of Dakota women’s dress


PDF poster for event

The world premiere of a new Pioneer PBS documentary Saksanica will be held on Saturday, April 9, 2022, from 4 to 7:30 p.m. at the Omníčiye Tipi community center at the Sisseton Wahpeton College in Sisseton, South Dakota. Through this documentary, award-winning filmmaker Leya Hale traces the traditions underlying the dress making culture of Lakota and Dakota communities. The screening event will feature music, discussion and a meal. The event is free and open to the public but pre-registration is required by visiting or calling 1-800-726-3178. The event is co-sponsored by South Dakota Public Broadcasting, the Sisseton Arts Council and Dakota Wicohan.

Saksanica features interviews with Gaby Strong, Pejuta Haka Red Eagle, Gabrielle Tateyuskanskan, Leah Thomas, Marcy Fiddler and Lonna Stevens as they discuss the materials, hand craft, adornments and cultural heritage contained within traditional Dakota and Lakota women’s dresses. Saksanica will air on Pioneer PBS on Thursday, May 12, 2022 at 7:30 p.m. and on Friday, May 27 at 9:30 p.m. on SDPB-TV.  After May 12, 2022, the documentary will be available for online viewing through the station’s website: and YouTube Channel.

Director & Producer Leya Hale is from the Sisseton Wahpeton Dakota and Diné Nations. She is a producer for Twin Cities PBS and is a recipient of the Sundance Institute Merata Mita Fellowship for Indigenous Artists. Hale is the producer of “Bring Her Home,” a documentary about the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women epidemic. When not producing feature films, Leya works on a variety of short form content in efforts to generate social change.

Videographer and production assistant Tanner Peterson worked with Hale to locate historical footage and to capture scenes from contemporary Wacipi dances and the landscape of Minnesota river valley that are woven into the interviews of the half-hour long documentary.  Peterson has family ties to the Sisseton Wahpeton Dakota and he is a citizen of Upper Sioux Community I Pezihutazizi Oyate based in Granite Falls.

Music for the event is being provided by traditional Native American flute player Bryan Akipa. A drum group being assembled by Delmer Bernard will also perform.  Catering is being provided by Rochelle Half A Day.  Tom Wilson will serve as the Master of Ceremonies..

The film and event are made possible with support from Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies and by contributions from the voters of Minnesota through a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. For more information about the event and the film, contact Patrick Moore, Pioneer PBS’s communications director, at or by calling 320-841-1487.


About Pioneer PBS

Established in 1966, Pioneer PBS is an award-winning, viewer-supported television station dedicated to sharing local stories of the region with the world. For more information visit:

Contact: Patrick Moore:  320-841-1487

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