Spotlight on a Native-Owned Business: Warrior Society Development

Jim Warne has had what can only be described as an interesting life and career. Warne currently works in film production and consulting through his Warrior Society Development, LLC., and WSD Productions, but he began his career in the National Football League, where he played from 1987-1992.

At WSD Productions, Warne produces documentary films including the movie ‘7th Generation,’ focused on “helping tribal nations find a way to succeed in a contemporary American system and still remain Indian at heart.” Along with his consulting and film work, Warne created Oyate` Circle at the University of South Dakota Center for Disabilities. Oyate` Circle is Native focused disability center at the university that provides resources, outreach, education, and training to Native Americans living with disabilities. The center is named after the Lakota word for ‘people.’

We recently sat down with Jim to learn more about his work. We hope you enjoy our interview with Jim Warne!

1. Tell us a bit about yourself and your business (location, tribal affiliation, type of work, professional background, etc.).  

Greetings, my name is Jim Warne and I am Oglala Lakota. I live in San Diego, CA where I attended San Diego State University (SDSU) for my graduate studies. I worked with SDSU Interwork Institute from 1993 – 2015, where I created the Circle for American Indian Rehabilitation and Education (CAIRE). I retired from SDSU in 2015 to pursue film work through my consulting company, Warrior Society Development, LLC, where I created WSD Productions. I have produced three award-winning films while consulting as a grant writer.

After successfully writing several grants for the University of South Dakota (USD) Center for Disabilities, I created Oyate` Circle, a Native-focused disability sub-center at USD Sanford School of Medicine. USD asked me to administer the new programs through the Oyate` Circle and I have hired Native staff to coordinate the programs.

After I graduated from Arizona State University, I was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals of the National Football League in 1987. I played in three professional football leagues until my retirement in 1992. I attended graduate school during my time in professional football. After my football career, I pursued another dream of being a film and television actor and stuntman. I was an actor and stuntman for several film and TV productions including: “The Substitute”, “Hunter” and “Invisible Man.” I continue to work as a consultant and filmmaker while I administer USD Oyate` Circle programs part-time.

2. COVID-19 has been devastating to many Native American communities. Why is it important for all of us to work together to combat and recover from COVID-19? 

COVID-19 has shone a glaring light on racial and health disparities. We were already underserved in our healthcare syste;, Indian Health Service (IHS) is only funded at 60% capacity.  How can this be? American Indian people and Tribal Nations have the largest numbers of COVID-19 cases.  Presently, Arizona Tribes hold a new distinction: the highest representation and death rate of COVID-19 worldwide. My Nation, the Oglala Lakota Sioux Tribe, initiated checkpoints to protect our elders and at-risk populations. We will not stop protecting our future generations. We will protect Our Elders… Our Wisdom Keepers…  Our Grandparents….  As Tribal Nations we must present a collective voice to our new administration in order to ensure protection and services for the pandemic and impacts to our IHS healthcare system. 

3. Where and how can our readers purchase your products or services? 

Warrior Society Development, LLC and WSD Productions

3077B Clairemont Dr #344

San Diego, CA 92117

PH: (619) 379-6163

Go to: https://www.warrior-society.com for services and contact information.

4. Anything else you want to add?

It is a great honor to represent our people and family seven generations behind and seven generations ahead.  This is a great responsibility for us all as indigenous people of this country.  We must represent future and past generations in a good way!  Wopila…

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