This blog entry was composed by Kimberly Hanson, a graduate student in Viterbo University’s Mental Health Counseling program, and volunteer with the Behavioral Health team on Pine Ridge this week.
The day started with us wondering if we would make a connection which would allow us to make a contribution. The afternoon provided us an opportunity for a conversation. In preparation for the conversation we were invited to tour the Pine Ridge community guided by Tony with the Youth Emergency Shelter. Following the tour, we gathered around a large table with representatives from several area services. We reviewed the curricula and listened to their desires for building on going relationships in order to support their efforts for the community. They offered us an opportunity to be part of several trainings during this week.
Later in the evening, we were privileged to hear parts of the Lakota history presented by Dakota High Hawk and members of his family. Important themes can be found in the number four: the four colors representing the races of man, the four directions, the four seasons, the four stages of life, and the four virtues. The people we met today demonstrated the four virtues of Lakota through courage, respect, generosity, and wisdom.
By Kimberly Hanson