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Kevin Abourezk: Grant helps Indian center tackle youth suicide

"Myron Long Soldier sees hope for Native youths in the Lakota sweat lodge ceremony, a purifying ritual that involves pouring water over scalding rocks inside a dome while praying and singing.

“As the prayers and the songs get stronger, you begin to let go of those feelings of self and get to feel a part of what’s happening,” he said. “When you come out, it’s like freedom.”

Long Soldier, president of the Indian Center’s board of directors, said he would like to see the center use a portion of two grants worth $2.2 million to address Native teen suicide through cultural practices like the sweat lodge.

Both grants come from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The first is an $800,000 grant awarded to the Santee Sioux Tribe that the Indian Center will administer. It is to be used to develop mental health services for children. The second, a $1.4 million grant, was awarded to the center to address Native teen suicide."

Get the Story:
Kevin Abourezk: Indian Center gets $2.2M in grants to help Native youths (The Lincoln Journal Star 8/2)

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