The $100,000 donation will be used to digitize archives and preserve history.
SALAMANCA, NY – For fans of the show “Dexter,” you probably know that the new season, “Dexter: New Blood,” sees the titular character swapping the beaches of Miami for the cold and snowy west of New York.
After 10 years presumed dead, the serial killer with a moral compass reappears with a new identity along the lands of Seneca. The producers got a lot of help from the Seneca Nation to try to get it right.
Showtime’s “Dexter: New Blood” is set in a made-up town, bordering on a very real location.
“(It’s) based on the location of this fictional town, Iron Lake, they started researching the native communities that might be near such a town. That’s how they came to settled on the Seneca Nation,” said Seneca filmmaker Caleb Abrams who was signed as a technical advisor.
The show is set against the backdrop of the Seneca Nation, and while the producers did some research on their own, they got to a point in the script where they had to bring in the experts, enter Abrams.
Abrams says there’s a lot of pressure that comes with the task of portraying the Nation in a sensitive and accurate way. Abrams said he tried to make the show as authentic as possible, including the real Seneca jewelry and symbolism used throughout.
“The ability to finally expire when I saw the finished product and started hearing from people in the community or hearing them say ‘hey, that was awesome’… ‘I saw the bracelet’, ‘I heard Sheldon’s song’, ‘I heard this or that.”
Now, including the Nation in the show will help preserve Haudenosaunee history.
As a thank you, Showtime donated $100,000 to the Seneca-Iroquois National Museum. They reached out to director Joe Stahlman to find out how best to use the funding. His first thought was an educational film festival, but Stahlman says Showtime wanted to do something more meaningful and lasting. It was then that he mentioned his ongoing struggle to digitize the archives and other materials in their collection.
“Audio, video, newscasts, stuff that people took to themselves using their VHS in the 1980s. We have a lot of that stuff and most of us haven’t watched it because we can’t afford it. So it’s just gathering dust,” Stahlman said.
Stahlman says the grant will allow the museum to purchase the equipment needed to transfer multiple media formats to digital files and improve their cultural center.
“It was an idea that Showtime really latched onto, the idea of digitizing film and audio as a way to preserve community and culture,” he said.
So while Iron Lake may be fictional, this money is real and will make a real difference in preserving the real history of the Seneca Nation.