Sovereign Sounds sprang out of the MASH Tent in Standing Rock – a solar-powered studio on the banks of the Cannonball River in North Dakota. In the fall, the studio focused on multimedia works such as the Free RedFawn campaign, in which we raised nearly 100k towards her legal defense. In winter, we shifted our focus to recording traditional Native songs and stories using DIY equipment – field recorders, microphones, and a couple computers. With them, we made studio-calibre recordings and made the first steps in building a diverse library of Indigenous songs and stories. People from Lakota, Dakota, Ponca, Nez Perce, and Pomo nations heard themselves recorded for the first time. These recordings were in rotation on the local station, 96.9FM Oceti Radio and are now being used in multimedia projects by groups like Unify and Indigenous Rising Media to spread awareness for Indigenous-led movements. It became clear to us quickly that recording gear and training in how to use it can provide monumental benefits to Indigenous communities, who in order to tell the story right, must be the producers of their own media.
Now, after Standing Rock, we are keeping the microphones live and moving all over the country to teach and to record. You can hear some of the songs we’ve done on our Facebook and Soundcloud pages! In conjunction with Indigenous Rising Media, we have done work in Louisiana, Texas, Arizona, Utah, and at our home base in New Mexico to help lay the groundwork and secure our role in the Indigenous-led environmental movement and political resistance. There is no limit to what we can do and who we can reach, so please consider donating to our GoFundMe page to help get the materials out there that we need.
Thank you and stay tuned. We have a lot ahead of us and we are just getting started.
Aho, Mitakuye Oyasin