Argus Leader articles, videos on Lakota Rosebud teen suicide crisis – 27 deaths, over 400 attempted suicides in past few years

Links to stories and video by Argus Leader in Sioux Falls, SD on the tragic suicide epidemic involving Lakota youth and young adults

At least 27 teens & young adults living in and around the Rosebud Reservation have killed themselves in recent years – plus 400 others have attempted suicide – surrounded by poverty, lack of jobs and a sense of hopelessness

Photos:

Marie Wilcox, (upper right) who lost her son, Stoney Larvie, to suicide more than two years ago, says his spirit visited her on the night he died. “He put his arms around me and said, ‘Don’t do that. Don’t blame anyone.’ ” Wilcox says that not understanding why her son chose suicide is the most difficult thing to deal with. (Photo by Lara Neel / Argus Leader)

Angel Wilson (lower right) visits her son’s grave on her property near Mission in south-central South Dakota on a recent summer day. Clay Wilson committed suicide at age 19 in January 2007, several months after two of his friends killed themselves. (Lara Neel / Argus Leader)

Lino Spotted Elk (lower left) visits the grave of his son, Lino “JJ” Spotted Elk Jr. The younger Spotted Elk committed suicide while in jail on a warrant for a speeding ticket. “I try to figure out what could I have done,” the elder Spotted Elk says. “You can beat yourself to death with those kinds of questions.” (Lara Neel / Argus Leader)

Lino Spotted Elk Sr. (upper left) sits in a St. Francis cemetery, reflecting on his son’s life. Spotted Elk said images and attitudes from MTV videos of rappers and gangsta music are powerful influences on reservation young people. (Lara Neel / Argus Leader)

Tillie Black Bear, (center photos) the executive director of the White Buffalo Calf Woman’s Society, tells a northern Michigan audience about the teen suicide crisis facing her reservation back home in South Dakota. Black Bear was a keynote speaker on September 23, 2008 at the Northern Michigan University 2008 United Conference in Marquette, MI
(Tillie Black Bear photos by Greg Peterson)

The youth suicide problem on and around the Lakota Rosebud Reservation is finally get the recognition it deserves.

Kudos to reporter Steve Young, photographer Lara Neel and any other members of the Argus Leader staff and management involved with this important story.

Lakota community leader Tillie Black Bear and others have worked tirelessly to bring this issue to the attention of many.

Black Bear and a few other brave native women founded the White Buffalo Calf Woman’s Society 31 years ago this October – the first domestic violence shelter on an Native American reservation.

The WBCWS has done its best to provide counselors and alternatives – and held a suicide summit earlier this summer.

The non-profit Turtle Island Project in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (Munising) and others have been trying to get South Dakota media to pay attention for over a year.

On Sept. 21, 2008, the Argus Leader newspaper did a thought-provoking, great but sad series of articles (and related videos) on the problem. Some 27 Rosebud members have killed themselves and over 400 youths have attempted suicide in the past few years.

Except for some American Indian media, only a handful of the white news media (including KOTA-TV, South Dakota Public Broadcasting and the Lutheran Magazine) have done much coverage of the issue that caused Rosebud Leaders to declare a state of emergency in the spring of 2007.

Numerous American Indian news outlets and websites helped the Turtle Island Project spread the word last fall. (That media includes Indian Country Today, Native Times, Native America Calling, News from Indian Country, Yahoo Indigenous Peoples Forum, Red Nation Society, Pow Wow TV, Native Radio, Mostly Water, and others we don’t mean to leave out).

Thanks also to the Custer Lutheran Fellowship Church in Custer, SD.

Here are links to videos/Argus Leader newspaper stories:

Why are young Lakota killing themselves?
South Dakota reservation’s suicide rate said to be among highest in world


Despite stable home, teen chose death
Mother struggles to understand reasons behind son’s tragic act

Tribe takes steps to ‘stop this pain’
Rosebud Sioux embracing range of strategies to stem tragic trend

Opportunity presents hope for youth

Son’s death prompts desire to help

Links to 7 videos by Argus Leader newspaper in Sioux Falls, SD on Rosebud Suicides:

All Videos:

Video #1 – click on this link

Video #2

Video #3

Video #4

Video #5

Video #6

Video #7

For more info:

Javier H. Alegree
Public Relations Specialist
Media and Education
White Buffalo Calf Woman Society, Inc.
PO Box 227
Mission, SD
57555

PH. 605-856-2317
FX. 605-856-2494

http://www.wbcws.org

To see KOTA-TV news story, videos and other info on Turtle Island Project and its founders Rev. Dr. Lynn Hubbard and Rev. Dr. George Cairns:

Turtle Island TV (blipTV)

Turtle Island TV (youtube)

Turtle Island Project Director Rev. Dr. Lynn Hubbard myspace page

email:
TurtleIslandProject@charter.net

My Zimbio
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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 American Indian, Argus Leader, attempted suicide, Battered women, children, Crow Creek, Dakota, depression, dispair, domestic violence, Great Sioux Nation, hopelessness, Indian, indigenous, Indigenous Issues, Indigenous Peoples, Lakota, Lakota Sioux, low income, Michigan, news, newspaper, poorest, poverty, prejudice, racism, respect, Rosebud, shelter, Sioux, Sioux Nation, South Dakota, suicide, teenager, teenagers, teens, television, Tillie Black Bear, tribe, truth, Turtle Island, Turtle Island Project, unemployed, White Buffalo Calf Woman Society, woman, youth adults and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Argus Leader articles, videos on Lakota Rosebud teen suicide crisis – 27 deaths, over 400 attempted suicides in past few years

  1. Thank you for sharing these videos and pictures. This is a terrible problem stemming from many causes – lack of jobs, colonialism, depression, etc. We must deal with these domestic problems and take care of our own people before going around the world and causing more harm. It is important for people to know what is happening on the reservations so that they can help.

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