michael heaney

Category: Writing (Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium), 63rd Oscars

Film Title: Dances With Wolves
Winner: Michael Blake (accompanied on stage by Doris Leader Charge who translated his speech into Lakota Sioux)
Presenter: Anthony Hopkins, Jodie Foster
Date & Venue: March 25, 1991; Shrine Civic Auditorium

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I had intended…Doris, where are you? Come up here. I had intended if I was fortunate enough to win this magnificent award to direct my remarks to young people that I care about a lot, all over the world. And I thought I should have someone come and help me do that. So this is my friend Doris Leader Charge, who played a critical role in our film. Doris is gonna help me out. She’s from Rosebud, South Dakota.

[Doris Leader Charge translates the following into the Lakota Sioux Native American language after each sentence:] My success began when I started to read books. Dreams come out of books. And the dream that came to me was to do something beneficial for as many people as I could. The miracle of “Dances With Wolves” is that it proves this kind of dream can come true. Hold on to your dreams. Don’t let anyone take them away. Never give up.

My sincere affection and love to Kevin Costner and Jim Wilson, and to three poets who inspire me all the time: Exene Cervenka, Doug Knott and Jocelyn Heaney. Good night.