Reznet News

Reporting from Native America

May 25, 2016
Latest post: March 20 5:07 pm

National Anthem translation into Lakota blends patriotism with tribal identity

By Santee Ross, University of Montana

The Star Spangled Banner can be heard at football games, baseball games and rodeos. Although at these events it’s usually heard in English.

One inspiring young woman has taken the Star Spangled Banner and translated it into the Lakota language. Lorna Hermanyhorses took on the project with the help of her language teacher in order to translate the beautiful song.

Lorna recorded herself singing the song in Lakota and then posted the video on YouTube—which I must say that girl has some pipes!

She also recorded an introduction to the Star Spangled Banner where she laid out her goals for the project. She wishes to circulate her video to as many Lakota, Dakota and Nakota soldiers and veterans.

I believe Lorna’s video of honoring our Native soldiers and veterans is inspiring. She found a way to reach out to the community with the help of technology. She also did it in a way that integrated the Lakota culture.

Lorna’s other goal for the video is to reach out to the Lakota, Dakota and Nakota youth so that they can connect the song back to where they come from by learning it in their own language.

I taught that language is so much a part of who we are as native people. If we don’t keep it alive we could lose that part of our identity. So it’s admirable that Lorna took on a project that hopefully inspires many youth and other members of the tribe to learn their own language.

Now maybe Lorna can translate “I got a feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas—jokes!

Santee Ross (Hopi/Lakota) is from Lander, Wyo.