Before coming to Pine Ridge, we were informed that suicide was an issue among the community. However, I didn’t realize how prevalent it truly was. Today we participated on a suicide awareness bike, run, walk stretching 34 miles from Kyle to Wanblee. Along the way, the stories of young people that had taken their lives were absolutely heart-wrenching, but the support throughout the community was immense. Today was meant to show respect to families that had been impacted by such a terrible thing, not only did it accomplish that, but so much more. We were included in their numerous prayers and ceremonies and got a grasp on how open, united, and welcoming the Lakota truly are.
by Cait Raatz