Lakota Country Times: Rosebud youth hold suicide awareness walk

The following article was written and reported by Vi Waln. For more news, subscribe to the Lakota Country Times today. All content © Lakota Country Times.

Young people carried posters with messages about suicide in Parmelee, South Dakota. Photo by Vi Waln

Parmelee youth hold suicide awareness walk
Gen-1 Challenge Activity held on Rosebud
By Vi Waln

PARMELEE, SD – The Parmelee youth group officers sponsored a suicide awareness walk/run/bike ride last week as part of their Generation Indigenous (Gen-I) initiative challenge.

Lana Murray is President of the Parmelee Group, Iwoblu Big Crow is Vice-President and Maddie Big Crow is Secretary. Using posters, the three young ladies gave a presentation on some reasons why people commit suicide.

The officers then led the walk through the community of Parmelee. They were joined by adults and elders. Many carried signs with messages on the issue of suicide. A few of the participants either ran or rode a bicycle to the He Dog School turn off west of town. They were escorted by Rosebud Police Officer Iver Crow Eagle. Lunch and water were served to all participants following the activity.

Lana Murray, Maddie Big Crow and Iwoblu Big Crow gave a presentation on suicide to the youth of Parmelee as part of the Gen-I Challenge. Photo by Vi Waln

Young people from Parmelee are part of a larger group from Rosebud who will attend the first ever White House Tribal Youth Gathering. Several tribal programs and local schools have pledged donations to offset travel expenses. Nearly thirty Sicangu teens are working hard to raise the remaining funding needed in order to board a bus bound for Washington DC on July 7.

Nearly 1,500 Native American young people from across Indian Country are expected to gather in the nation’s capital to participate. The gathering will run from July 9 through 14 at the Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel. The agenda will feature several nationally known keynote speakers, more than thirty workshop, a cultural exchange night, talent show and an awards banquet.

A Parmelee Elder carries a poster in the Suicide Awareness Walk last week. Photo by Vi Waln

Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council Cecilia Muñoz announced the launch of the Generation Indigenous Native Youth Challenge at the 2015 United National Indian Tribal Youth (UNITY) Midyear Conference in February. This challenge invited Native youth and organizations across the country to become a part of the Administration’s Gen-I initiative by joining the National Native Youth Network — a White House effort in partnership with the Aspen Institute’s Center for Native American Youth and the U.S. Department of the Interior.

YouTube: President Obama Addresses the 2015 Gathering Of Nations Powwow

President Barack Obama launched the Gen-I Initiative at the 2014 White House Tribal Nations Conference to focus on improving the lives of Native youth by removing the barriers that stand between Native youth and their opportunity to succeed. Through new investments and increased engagement, this initiative takes a comprehensive, culturally appropriate approach to ensure all young Native people can reach their full potential.  

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