Lakota Teen Suicide Crisis: White Buffalo Calf Woman Society benefit concert

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KOTA-TV: Lakota Teen Suicide; WBCWS project benefit concert

This video from a Rapid City, South Dakota TV newscast is posted with permission from KOTA TV News Director John Petersen.

KOTA TV did an excellent story on the tragic problem of teen suicide at the Lakota Rosebud Reservation.

The teen suicide issue is just one of the projects of the White Buffalo Calf Woman Society (WBCWS) in Mission, S.D. that has served the Rosebud Sioux Reservation for nearly 30 years.

On Sunday August 12 a benefit concert to aid the WBCWS will be held at the Custer Lutheran Fellowship Church in Custer, S.D. (More information on the concert is at the end of this page)

Rosebud Sioux Tribe declares state of emergency on reservation suicides

By Lela French

For nearly a decade teen suicide has been one of the biggest problems on the Rosebud Reservation.

“The belief right now is that it is at a crisis state,” says Tillie Black Bear Executive Director of White Buffalo Calf Women.

But in the past two years the problem has gotten even worse.

Lino Spotted Elk is one of many fathers who had to deal with the loss of his son who committed suicide two years ago at the age of 19.

“It’s really impacted myself and my family as far as of course the loss of a loved one. But also you know the way he went. You don’t expect to bury your child,” says Lino Spotted Elk.

But many parents have had to do just that.

Council members say in the past two years there were more than four hundred suicide attempts at least 10 of those were successful, and most were teenage boys.

Which is why tribal council members are declaring a state of emergency.

“The task force right now is attempting to bring together all the different agencies and programs on the reservation that are addressing suicide in anyway,” says Black Bear.

Black bear says alcohol and drugs play a huge role in the number of suicides, but each case is different.

Social problems, depression, and poverty also contribute to the numbers.

“Many of these teens don’t recognize that they’re just at this place and time at this particular moment that tomorrow things could be different,” says Black Bear.

Some prevention measures are already in place, but Spotted Elk says parents should just do what he regrets not doing.

“Spend more time with your children and do more things with them, you know in the prevention aspect. To help other parents prevent this from happening,” says Spotted Elk.

If you are interested in helping, a benefit concert is being held in Custer at the Lutheran Fellowship Church Sunday, August 12th at 5:00PM.

For more information you can call the White Buffalo Calf Woman Society, Inc. at 605-856-2317

KOTA (TV-3) Territory News (ABC)

web:

http://www.kotatv.com

News Director John Petersen

johnpetersen@rushmore.com

Assignment Editor Jack Siebold

kotanews@rushmore.com

News Producer Jennifer Stahl

jennystahl@rushmore.com

More info on concert – Sunday, August 12, 2007 in Custer S.D.:

Tillie Black Bear on drums

Tillie Black Bear has fun with a drum set at the Custer Lutheran Fellowship in Custer on Sunday (July 29) during a meeting to discuss the free concert at 5 p.m. on August 12 at the church to benefit the country’s first battered woman’s shelter for Native American women and children.

Black Bear is founder/director of White Buffalo Calf Woman Society (WBCWS) battered woman’s shelter in Mission, S.D.

(Photo by Javier H. Alegree, media, education and public relations specialist for the WBCWS domestic violence shelter)

 The public is invited to free benefit concert at 5 p.m. on Sunday, August 12, 2007 at the Custer Lutheran Fellowship church in Custer, S.D. with donations for the White Buffalo Calf Woman Society domestic violence program, the nation’s first battered woman’s shelter for Native American women and children in Mission, S.D. that has served the Rosebud Indian Reservation for nearly 30 years.

Performing will be family string band White Water and Duo Borealis, two groups known for their unique folk music from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Pictured (left to right) at the Custer Lutheran Fellowship church are Donna McConnell, church office administrator; Tillie Black Bear, founder/director of White Buffalo Calf Woman Society (WBCWS) battered woman’s shelter in Mission, S.D; and Rev. Kent Narum, church associate pastor.

A free concert will be held at 5 p.m. on August 12 at the Custer, S.D. church to benefit the country’s first battered woman’s shelter for Native American women and children located in Mission, S.D.

(Photo by Javier H. Alegree, media, education and public relations specialist for the WBCWS domestic violence shelter)

White Water folk group performs on Fourth of July 2007 in Munising, MI

The Iron County, Michigan family string band/folk group White Water is performing a free benefit concert at 5 p.m. (MT) on August 12, 2007 at the Custer Lutheran Fellowship church in Custer, South Dakota.

Pictured above are northern Michigan family folk group members Dean Premo (far right); wife, Bette (far left) Premo and their children, Evan and Laurel.

The concert is a benefit for the country’s first battered woman’s shelter for Native American women and children – the White Buffalo Calf Woman Society (WBCWS) battered woman’s shelter in Mission, S.D.

For more information contact Rev. Dave Van Kley at 605-673-4691.

Pictured below (left to right) at the Custer Lutheran Fellowship church are Donna McConnell, church office administrator; Tillie Black Bear, founder/director of White Buffalo Calf Woman Society (WBCWS) battered woman’s shelter in Mission, S.D; and Rev. Kent Narum, church associate pastor.

(Photo by Javier H. Alegree, media, education and public relations specialist for the WBCWS domestic violence shelter)

Tillie Black Bear mneets with officials at Custer Lutheran Fellowship church

Links to indepth concert/WBCWS stories:

AAA Native Arts

http://www.aaanativearts.com/article1485.html

ARTS 4-Christ

http://www.art4christ.com/lutheran-ministries/free-concert-to-benefit-native-american-battered-women-august-12th.html

KOTA TV ABC Rapid City – Teen Suicide/Benefit Concert story

http://www.kotatv.com/Global/story.asp?S=6884537

RedWebz website:

http://redwebz.org/modules.php?name=News&file=print&sid=2394

Urth TV blog:

http://www.urth.tv/content/view/16661/222/

Native American Times:

http://www.nativetimes.com/index.asp?action=displayarticle&article_id=8911

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About yoopernewsman

I am a news reporter, writer and investigative journalist and began my career about 40 years ago as a young teenager in Augusta, GA after moving south during the middle of high school. I'm a news reporter, writer & investigative journalist specializing in street news, plus Indigenous, civil rights & environment reporting. Currently volunteer media advisor for numerous American Indian & environment related nonprofits that include the Navajo Lutheran Mission in Rock Point, AZ & its executive director Rev. Dr. Lynn Hubbard, the nonprofit Cedar Tree Institute (CTI) in Marquette, MI & its many projects founded by Rev. Jon Magnuson, Author Joy Ibsen of Trout Creek, MI, Celtic Christianity Today (CCT) founded by Rev. Dr. George Cairns, the Turtle Island Project founded by pastors Hubbard & Cairns. In its third summer, the CTI Zaagkii Wings & Seeds Project & its volunteers built a16-foot geodesic dome solar-powered greenhouse that was built in this summer at the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC) in an effort to restore native species plants to northern Michigan. It's located at the tribe's Natural Resources Department north of L'Anse along Lake Superior. During the summer of 2010, Zaagkii Project teens built & painted 25 beautiful reliquaries that are boxes made from pine & cedar that are used to store seeds for planting & included samples of Native American medicine including sweetgrass, cedar, sage & tobacco. From April-June 2009, I promoted the EarthKeeper Tree Project that planted 12,000 trees across northern Michigan. Co-edited "Unafraid," the second book by Author Joy Ibsen of Trout Creek, MI that was printed in May 2009 based on her father's handwritten sermons she found in shoebox. I edited numerous videos for nonprofit CCT. Began career 35 years ago as teenager in Augusta, GA after moving south during middle of high school. I was co-coordinator of the 1986 original James Brown Appreciation Day in Augusta, GA, where the Godfather of Soul was always trashed by local media who didn't report anything positive about the music icon. Mr. Terence Dicks was the other co-coordinator & most recently served as chair of the Augusta Human Relations Commission and serves on the Georgia Clients Council. Mr. Brown taught us to "fight the good fight" by battling all forms of racism & evil while not uttering a bad word about those who try to block justice, respect, fairness & kindness to all. As a child, I lived in the Harbert, Michigan home built by late poet Carl Sandburg, where the legendary author penned some of his greatest works including his Chicago works & Lincoln papers. The four-story home had a sundeck on the top & a cool walk-in safe in the basement. The neighborhood (Birchwood) has numerous cottages used for other purposes by Sandburg like the milk house where they milked goats. My parents remodeled fourth floor of the home that stands atop the Lake Michigan sand dunes/bluffs. They found items that belonged to Mr. Sandburg concealed in the walls including prescription bottles with his name, reading glasses, & a small, thin metal stamp with his name. I've worked for dozens of newspapers & radio & TV stations in GA & MI. I'm volunteer media advisor for several interfaith environmental projects involving Native Americans across Upper Peninsula of MI including the Turtle Island Project, The Zaagkii Project, the Interfaith Earth Healing Initiative, EarthKeeper Initiative & the Manoomin (Wild Rice) Project. The Zaagkii Wings & Seeds Project restores bee & butterfly habitat to help pollination of plants following death of billions of bees. Keweenaw Bay Indian Community youth & Marquette teens built butterfly houses, planted/distributed 26,000 native plants to help pollinators. The Earth Healing Initiative assisted EPA Great Lakes 2008 Earth Day Challenge. EHI helped organize interfaith participation across eight states for the 100 plus recycling projects (April 2008) involving recycling millions of pounds of electronic waste & proper disposal of millions of pills/pharmaceuticals. EPA goals were exceeded by 500%. Under an EPA grant, EHI provided free media services for the cities/groups/tribes including videos & press releases. The EarthKeeper environment projects include an annual Earth Day Clean Sweep (2005-2007) at 24 free drop-off sites across a 400 mile area of northern Michigan that collected over 370 tons of household hazardous waste. The 2007 EarthKeeper Pharmaceutical Clean Sweep collected over one ton of drugs plus $500,000 in narcotics in only three hours. Some 2,000 residents participated & many brought in pharmaceuticals for their family, friends & neighbors. In 2006, 10,000 people dropped off over 320 tons of old/broken computers, cell phones & other electronic waste, all of which was recycled. In 2005, residents turned in 45 tons of household poisons & vehicle batteries. The Manoomin (Wild Rice) Project teaches teens to respect nature & themselves by having American Indian guides escort them to remote lakes & streams in northern Michigan to plant/care for wild rice. The teens test water quality to determine the best conditions for the once native grain to survive. The Turtle Island Project was co-founded in July 2007 by Rev. Lynn Hubbard of Rock Point, AR (Ex. Dir. of the Navajo Lutheran Mission) & Rev. Dr. George Cairns of Chesterton, IN, United Church of Christ minister & research professor for the Chicago Theological Seminary. TIP promotes respect for culture & heritage of indigenous peoples like American Indians. TIP is a platform for American Indians to be heard unedited by whites. Rev. Hubbard says whites don't have the knowledge or right to speak on behalf of Native Americans. I specialize in civil rights, outdoor, environmental, cops & courts reporting thanks to my late mentor Jay Mann (Jan Tillman Hutchens), an investigative reporter in Augusta, who lived by the books "Illusions" & "Jonathon Livingston Seagull." Love to fish, hunt, camp & skydive. Belong to Delta Chi national fraternity. I was active in Junior Achievement, band played cornet. With my dear friend, the Rev. Terence A. Dicks, we were the co-coordinators of the 1986 original James Brown Appreciation Day in Augusta, GA, where the Godfather of Soul was always trashed by the local media who found no reasons to print or report anything positive about the music icon. I am honored to help the human rights activist Terence Dicks - with some of his projects including the nonprofit Georgia Center for Children and Education - and the economic initiative he founded titled "Claiming A Street Named King." I am the volunteer media advisor for several environmental projects across Michigan's Upper Peninsula including EarthKeeper II - an Initiative of the nonprofit Cedar Tree Institute in Marquette, MI. EarthKeepers II is an Interfaith Energy Conservation and Community Garden Initiative across the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Goals: Restore Native Plants and Protect the Great Lakes from Toxins like Airborne Mercury in cooperation with the EPA Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, U.S. Forest Service, 10 faith traditions and Native American tribes like the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Previously known as the Earth Keeper Initiative - that project included many environmental projects including an annual Earth Day Clean sweep at two dozen free drop off sites across a 400 mile area of northern Michigan. The target of the 2007 Earth Keeper Pharmaceutical Clean Sweep are all kinds of medicines. In 2006, some 10,000 people dropped off over 320 tons of old/broken computers, cell phones and other electronic waste, all of which was recycled. In 2005, residents turned in 45 tons of household poisons and vehicle batteries. The Manoomin (Wild Rice) Project taught at-risk teens (just sentenced in juvenile court) to respect nature and themselves by having American Indian guides escort them to very remote lakes and streams in northern Michigan to plant and care for wild rice. The teens conducted water quality and other tests to determine the best conditions for the once native grain to survive. I have always specialized in civil rights, outdoor, environmental, cops and courts reporting thanks to my late mentor Jay Mann (Jan Tillman Hutchens), an investigative reporter in Augusta, who lived by the book "Illusions."
This entry was posted in abuse, Battered women, children, domestic violence, Indian, Lakota, Michigan, music, religion, Rosebud, shelter, Turtle Island, Uncategorized, woman. Bookmark the permalink.

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