Sokaogon Chippewa Community News

Sokaogon Youth Create Public Service Announcement

By:  Richard D. Ackley, Jr.

Last Thursday, you may have seen the cameras and 15 Sokaogon youth as they embarked on a new project. The Safe Driving public service announcement is an initiative by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT), being coordinated by Agnes Fleming, Coordinator of the WisDOT Inter-Tribal Task Force (ITTF).

Frybread Productions is a Los Angeles-based video production company, owned and operated by Native Americans Tim Ramos, Tim Ornelas and Jim Ruel. Tim Ramos and Jim Ruel met with youth at the Mole Lake Conference Center to set the stage for creating the announcement.

The youth chose a theme relating to driving safety, wrote a script, acted in and filmed a 30-second public service announcement that will be aired throughout the state of Wisconsin.

“This will be our fourth project of this kind in cooperation with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation Inter-Tribal Task Force,” Tim explained.

“This video will cover issues about driving safety. Studies reveal that for Native people under the age of 25, the major cause of death is from car accidents,” Jim continued.

Agnes assisted our youth in completing the video in only a day and a half. She is a Lac Courte Oreilles Tribal Member, and shared that she was glad to see the willingness of the youth to take on the project with little or no experience in acting, writing scripts, creating story boards, and operating sound equipment and advanced digital movie cameras.

The youth began work on Thursday by brainstorming on issues that affect safety while operating a motor vehicle. They then separated into smaller groups to begin hammering out a rough script and developing a story board. In the afternoon, they worked on the heart of the project – creating a slogan, choosing the parts they would portray, and identifying camera and sound equipment operators.

Friday morning, the group assembled in the parking lot behind the Mole Lake Lodge to begin filming. Their slogan focused on the deadly hazards of racing vehicles against one another.

Once the video is complete, WisDOT will review and provide final approval before the public service announcement is aired. Watch for more information.
“Leave your phone alone until you get home” was the message of the public service announcement that was scripted, filmed and produced by middle school students from Indian Community School in Milwaukee last year. You may view last year’s youth public service announcement at the WisDOT ITTF website.