Native Sun News: Oglala Sioux youth to join White House meet

The following story was written and reported by Brandon Ecoffey, Native Sun News Managing Editor. All content © Native Sun News.

Janay Jumping Eagle

Little Wound student to represent OST at White House
By Brandon Ecoffey
Native Sun News Managing Editor

KYLE –– Last year a star freshman point guard inspired a reservation with a message of hope designed to prevent suicide. This year that same girl, has set her sights on a new goal that reaches beyond the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation as she was chosen to represent the Oglala Lakota Nation at this year’s White House Tribal Nations Conference as a youth ambassador.

Janay Jumping Eagle, the daughter of Ryan Jumping Eagle and Echo Lebeau, was selected to represent her tribal nation as a youth ambassador and will attend President Obama’s Tribal Nations conference in Washington, DC Dec. 1-3.

“This is a great opportunity for me to help our youth get their voices heard at the national level. My family and I are beyond excited and I am very honored to represent our tribe,” said Janay in a statement she made on her account.

Last year as Janay made a name for herself by posting an anti-suicide message on Facebook that went viral informing her fellow youth that, “There is Hope.” The message that was scribbled on to a basketball, photographed, and posted to her Facebook page was shared by hundreds if not thousands across social media.

“We are very proud of Janay. She deserves all these opportunities that come her way. When she applied for this conference, we didn't think she had a chance. The lady in charge of the program in D.C. said that we should really be proud of Janay and we are. We hope that this will open up a lot more opportunities for her in the future," said Janay’s father, Ryan Jumping Eagle.

In a press release from the White House last month, President Obama, announced the event that will “provide leaders from the 566 federally recognized tribes the opportunity to interact directly with the President and members of the White House Council on Native American Affairs. That conference is part of President Obama’s pledge to honor the historical government to government relationship that exists between tribes and the United States government.

“This will be the sixth White House Tribal Nations Conference for the Obama Administration, and continues to build upon the President’s commitment to strengthen the government-to-government relationship with Indian Country and to improve the lives of Native Americans,” said the White House in a statement.

Currently Janay is looking for donations to make her trip to D.C a reality and has established a GoFundMe page that can be viewed at The family also said that they would like to thank everyone for “supporting Janay and for any funds that have or will be donated.”

(Contact Brandon Ecoffey at

Copyright permission Native Sun News

Related Stories:
Column: Oglala Sioux teen reaches out to vulnerable youth (02/04)
Native Sun News: Ramping up efforts to prevent suicide (1/17)

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