Indian Humor Used in a PSA Addresses Need to Use Seat Belts

Two Oglala Sioux tribal citizens drive home the importance of wearing seat belts. (Photo/PSA)
Two Oglala Sioux tribal citizens drive home the importance of wearing seat belts. (Photo/PSA)

Good old-fashioned Indian humor is used in a recently released public service announcement (PSA) to drive home the requirement to wear seat belts.

The Oglala Sioux Tribe’s Department of Public Safety hired Toby Brusseau, who owns Rapid City, S.D.-based Prima Materia, to create the PSA.

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The Public Safety Department wanted a PSA that could resonate with its tribal citizens of the Oglala Souix Tribe who reside on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

The result was the "Click it or Ticket" version of two Native Americans on horseback wearing seat belts.

“They wanted a new ad that would resonate with viewers,” Brusseau said to a local South Dakota televison station. “Most of the time, you see an overplayed public service announcement that doesn’t really resonate, they can be very negative.”

The actors in the PSA are two Oglala Sioux Tribe citizens. The two characters are seated in a car, and the passenger tells the driver that he doesn't want to wear a seatbelt because "our ancestors never wore them." The next scene is a flashback with both men on horseback wearing seat belts.

The Oglala Lakoa Nation posted this message on its website:

"Watch as Lyle and Arlo bring their unique brand of humor to the importance of buckling up. With an unexpected twist and laugh-out-loud moments, this campaign proves that promoting safety can be both entertaining and essential."

Other Indian Country organizations that have utilized Brusseau's talents and services include Indian Community School, InterTribal Buffalo Council, and Indian Tenure Land Foundation.


About the Author: "Levi \"Calm Before the Storm\" Rickert (Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation) is the founder, publisher and editor of Native News Online. Rickert was awarded Best Column 2021 Native Media Award for the print\/online category by the Native American Journalists Association. He serves on the advisory board of the Multicultural Media Correspondents Association. He can be reached at"