The week spent in Pine Ridge Reservation was an amazing one. Many life long connections were made as well as many life lessons learned from the people there. Our Youth Leadership Camp held in both towns of Wanblee and Kyle helped start friendships between the La Crosse students and the Lakota students. It was the times like talking to the elders about their roles in their culture, exploring the land, seeing a rodeo, visiting Wounded Knee, and being a part of the community dinners that really taught us the most about their culture. I’ll never forget a simple saying Duck, a Lakota adult, said to a group of us, “Never be mad, refuse to be sad.” It shows a lot about how strong their culture is and it gave me an insight about their culture that I would have never experienced or known about them before the trip. This trip taught me so much about life in 6 days, it’s unexplainable and I would go back in a heart beat to learn more.
by Jada Blokhuis