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Release: Nov. 16, 2001

UI videos selected for American Indian Film Festival

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The Prairielands Addiction Technology Transfer Center (ATTC), in cooperation with the University of Iowa Video Center, has produced two videos on substance abuse and Native Americans on South Dakota reservations. The videos, "Nagi Kicopi: Calling Back the Spirit" and "Sucker Punched," were selected for screening in the 26th annual American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco Nov. 8-15.

"Nagi Kicopi" was nominated for the national award, "Best Public Service 2001." The documentary, filmed on a Lakota reservation in South Dakota, uses oral histories and personal interviews to show how white men introduced alcohol to Native Americans and to focus on the challenges of substance abuse that many Native Americans face. "Nagi Kicopi" was created for counselors and other health professionals who treat Native Americans for substance-related disorders.

Anne Helene Skinstad, Ph.D., director of the Prairielands ATTC and UI assistant professor of community and behavioral health, said the video also educates the public about substance abuse among Native American communities.

"Alcohol is not originally part of the Native American culture," Skinstad said. "This video is a wonderful depiction of alcohol dependence throughout history. It is getting this important information out in a non-academic way. I am very excited that we were nominated for this award, and I am pleased with the great work my colleagues are doing."

Skinstad served as content advisor and grant administrator for the videos, which were funded by a federal grant to the Prairielands ATTC from the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment.

Other principal members of the UI production team included producer and content advisor David Rosenthal, Ph.D., UI associate professor of family medicine; director/editor Steve Henke of the UI Video Center; director of photography Catherine Wissing of the UI Video Center; and Nicole Pizzini, a graduate student in rehabilitation counseling. Duane Mackey, the Prairielands ATTC coordinator in South Dakota and a faculty member at the University of South Dakota, along with USD colleagues John Williams and Gene Thin Elk, also were actively involved in making the videos and ensuring their overall accuracy.

The Prairielands ATTC is one of 13 regional centers funded through the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment within the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration. The goal of the Prairielands ATTC is to enhance the education of substance abuse counselors and to teach counselors how to effectively treat substance abusers. The center focuses on four areas of excellence: treatment of substance abusers with co-occurring mental illness; treatment of substance abusers who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender; treatment of women substance abusers; and treatment of Native American substance abusers. With its home office in Iowa City, the Prairielands ATTC also has outreach sites in North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska. The center plans to extend the services to Minnesota within the next five years.