“In our culture, the children are sacred”
“To be Lakota in this world is a challenge because they want to maintain their own culture, but they’re being told their culture is not successful”
Since December, nine young people have committed suicide on the reservation.
At least 103 attempts by people ages 12 to 24 occurred from December to March.
“It’s just a common thing,” said a 15 year old, of suicide attempts on the reservation.
Lakota teens have said “they were tired of the lives they had at home, no food, with parents intoxicated, and some were being abused, mentally or sexually.”
When a grandfather talks about his granddaughters suicide, he points to the multi-generational trauma inflicted on Native Americans and the intercultural tensions that still exist today.
On a trip to Rapid City over the New Year, a group of Lakota girls overheard a woman call them “filthy Indians” as they passed through a hotel lobby.
“My beautiful Lakota granddaughter had to hear that. Our kids today just want to die because they’re sick of all this oppression.”