• Aja Duniven

Ghost Dance Short Film Preproduction

Updated: Mar 14

Native American traditions and knowledge are being lost forever. Dave Swallow, a Lakota Medicine Man, is working with Global Peace Train to produce a short film to open a doorway into Lakota culture and raise awareness for the Lakota people.



Dave Swallow and his wife Nyla Helper live on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota and work tirelessly to preserve Lakota wisdom.

Strange lights reported by the media over the Badlands sparks the interest of an anthropologist who begins his investigation with his colleagues to bring answers about the mystical phenomena.

The building project we were working on in 2019 with Dave Swallow was put on hold during the COVID 19 outbreak, but we wanted to keep making progress with Dave in a COVID-friendly way. So we began the preproduction for a short film...

Ghost Dance, a short film

At Global Peace Train, each of our projects is represented by an avatar that is linked to a specific cause. The avatars are a key part of our storytelling and help make the causes we support more accessible and easier to understand.


The Eagle Avatar carries the stories of indigenous cultures in danger of dying out and gives their stories wings. Represented in the Global Peace Train logo, this avatar is all-seeing and promotes the sacred vision of preserving indigenous wisdom before it is lost. We are extremely excited to work with Dave Swallow to tell an incredible modern-day story that takes place on the Pine Ridge Reservation and is infused with ancient Lakota wisdom.


The Story: Ghost Dance is a Lakota story that bridges modern-day life and a no man’s land, the Badlands of the Indian Reservation. Sightings of UFOs and strange phenomenal activities appear near Pine Ridge, South Dakota, where the last ceremony of the Ghost Dance was held during the massacre at Wounded Knee on December 29th, 1890. Strange lights reported by the media over the Badlands sparks the interest of an anthropologist who begins his investigation with his colleagues to bring answers about the mystical phenomena.


Preproduction: The preproduction consists of writing the script, script breakdown, location scouting, storyboards budgeting, and fundraising.


About the Writer: David Swallow Jr. is a Teton Lakota living in Porcupine South Dakota on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. David and his Grandfathers are from the Band of Crazy Horse. He is known as a spiritual interpreter, Sundance Chief, and one of the Headsmen for the Lakota, Nakota, and Dakota Nations. He is one of the last fluent Lakota language speakers, both the old language and today’s Lakota language. On his father’s side, he descends from Chief Standing Buffalo and from his mother’s lineage Chief Red Shirt. David’s Lakota name is Wowita Uha Muni, which translates as Walks With Pride.


UPDATE 3/21/2022: We have completed the second draft of the Ghost Dance script and have a gifted team of producers working on the breakdown, budget, and fundraising for the production. We have raised $3500 this year and have a verbal commitment for another $9000 for the production. If all goes as planned, we aim to shoot fall 2022.


Project Avatar: At Global Peace Train, each of our projects is represented by an avatar that is linked to a specific cause. The avatars are a key part of our storytelling and help make the causes we support more accessible and easier to understand. This project is represented by the Eagle Avatar.



The Eagle Avatar carries the stories of indigenous cultures in danger of dying out and gives their stories wings. Represented in the Global Peace Train logo, this avatar is all-seeing and promotes the sacred vision of preserving indigenous wisdom before it is lost. We are extremely excited to work with Dave Swallow to tell an incredible modern-day story that takes place on the Pine Ridge Reservation and is infused with ancient Lakota wisdom.

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