Lakota Country Times: Rosebud Sioux Tribe honors youth workers

Ethan One Feather, Michael Brave, Jr. and Harlan Guerue, Jr. were all recognized with certificates and a cash award for their work on the Summer Youth Program. Photo by Vi Waln

Sicangu Employment Program Recognizes Young Workers
By Vi Waln
Lakota Country Times Correspondent

MISSION – Several Sicangu young people, who gave up part of their summer vacation to work at temporary jobs, were recognized for their employment achievements with a meal, cash awards, t-shirts and certificates.

“Many people view summer youth employment as a rite of passage into teen hood and a big step towards adult hood,” Brian Dillon stated. He currently serves as the Tribal Council Representative for the Parmelee Community.

“You may be aware that the unemployment rate on our reservation is around 85% on any given day,” Dillon continued. “With you being employed in the summer youth program, you have just demonstrated to yourself, your family, community and tribe that you want to decrease this statistic.

Each summer youth participant received a t-shirt courtesy of the Sicangu Nation Employment & Training Program. They each got to pick their favorite color. Photo by Vi Waln

A meal prayer was offered by David Blue Thunder. Several of the Summer Youth Program workers brought their parents, grandparents and siblings to enjoy Subway sandwiches provided by the Sicangu Nation Employment & Training Program (SNETP). Those who attended also enjoyed a variety of salads, soda and bottled water at the Todd County High School Cafeteria.

This youth employment program is offered to applicants aged 14-21 from families who meet income guidelines. There are 2 sessions held in the summer, each spanning 5 weeks. Young people are placed in organizations near their home to gain valuable work experience. The Rosebud office also administered the Summer Youth Program on the Crow Creek Reservation.

Summer Youth Program workers who had Perfect Attendance received a cash award of $50. They were Cameron Antoine, Constance Arcoren, Leseante Arcoren, Julianna Benge, Tristan Black Moon, Michael Brave, Angel Bordeaux, Crystal Chipps, Kathryn Clairmont, Stephanie Denoyer, Kelsey Espinosa, Theresa Fights Over, Dieyondra Gillis, Phillip Guerue, Eustace Hart and Jacob Iron Shell.

Tribal Council Representative Brian Dillon was a guest speaker at the Summer Youth Recognition lunch. He congratulated the youth workers for their perseverance and thanked them all for making a positive difference in their own young lives. Photo by Vi Waln

Also recognized for Perfect Attendance were Jeurei Iron Shell, Kashawn Little Elk, Tyrell Long, Kaycie Marshall, Verene Marshall, Paige McCloskey, Donna Morrisette, Kameron Oliver, Tyler One Feather, Jazmine Pineda, Dayton Plumman, Stephanie Prue, Ralph Spotted Calf, Jr., Sadie Yellow Eyes, Ashton White Lance and Shawn Shepherd.

Summer Youth Program workers who were recognized as Outstanding Participants received a hooded sweater and a $100 cash award. They were Tianni Arrow, Corrin Bettelyoun, Savannah Black Moon, Edgar Boneshirt, Jr., Natalie Bordeaux, Justin Byington, Clayton Clairmont, Lanie Crazy Bull, Crash Colombe, Matthew Duysak, Holdyn Fallis, Gabrielle Fast Horse, Terrance Gregg, Jr. and Harlan Guerue, Jr.

Also recognized as Outstanding Participants were Jori Gunville, Jessica Henry, Mitakuye Horse Looking, Duwanna Left Hand Bull, Brenden Marshall, Alana Murray-Janssen, Linda Never Misses a Shot, Ethan One Feather, Neecho One Feather, Keyshawn Peneaux, Zachary Prue, Bernadette Roubideaux, Orion Thunder Hawk, Daniel Witt and Timothy Winters, Jr.

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“Your employment does not just put money in your pocket, it also helps you prepare for adulthood,” Dillon told the young people. “You may not be aware of it, but your family, friends, coworkers and supervisors are proud of you.”

“This big step has put you on the path to success,” he continued. “Every time you’re faced with an opportunity to propel yourself forward, take it, even if you fail. Even if there’s things that you don’t understand, take that opportunity. I’d just like to congratulate you on your perseverance and thank you for making a positive difference in your own young life.”

(Vi Waln is an enrolled citizen of the Sicangu Lakota Nation and is nationally published journalist.)

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