Tournament organizers tackle Indian youth suicide
Organizers of the annual Lakota Nation Invitational required all players to attend a suicide prevention program.

The Bear Characters, a student drama group from the Pine Ridge Reservation, and the Oglala Sioux Tribe's Sweetgrass Project, put together a one-hour program to help youth address the issue. The effort comes amid a rash of suicides among young people at Pine Ridge.

"I know you're here to play ball, but there's no reason for us to be burying our future leaders," Tiny DeCory told competitors in the tournament, The Rapid City Journal.

Tribal President Theresa Two Bulls declared a state of emergency in response to 17 suicides and suicide attempts in the month of November. There were 97 suicide response calls in a one-year period.

Get the Story:
Officials put crisis of reservation suicides 'front and center' at LNI (The Rapid City Journal 12/17)

Related Stories:
Column: Suicide emergency facing Lakota youth (12/15)